The Cowboys had a few special visitors on hand for Thursday's OTA practice.
In fact, some 20 area high school coaches got a front-row seat to practice, meetings and more on Thursday as the Cowboys hosted an inaugural High School Diversity Coaching Summit at The Star and Ford Center.
The event, presented by Nike, offered coaches from the North Texas area the opportunity to discuss professional and personal development topics with the Cowboys coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, who met with the group on Thursday before practice.
"What you men do is at a whole different level than what I do," McCarthy said in his opening statement. "You guys are the foundation, you're the building blocks. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania. We're proud of our football. We know how to play ball there. But coming to Texas is a little different and it's a reflection of what you men do. It's so impressive. Watching a high school football game down here today is like watching a college game 10-15 years ago."
The attending coaches participated in discussions on scheduling practices and meetings, setting up a staff, talent evaluation, utilizing nutrition and strength training to impact player safety, as well as sharing challenges and best practices for leadership both on and off the field.
McCarthy eventually dug deep into the discussion, talking about how schedules and preparation is the key to success at any level.
"How much success you have in the NFL relies a lot on how you start," McCarthy shared. "'I'm already looking ahead to that first game. A healthy offseason gives us a chance to have a healthy training camp and get off to a good start. Having generational awareness, the differences in generations, is a big part of our job… I feel like I get my generational awareness at the house."
After McCarthy, other speakers included VP of player personnel Will McClay, assistant head coach Rob Davis, director of sports performance Scott Sehnert and former running back Tashard Choice, who is now an assistant coach at the University of Texas.