OXNARD, Calif. – And just like that, the 2022 season is now among us.
The Cowboys officially arrived in Oxnard, Calif. on Monday to begin a new chapter, a new season and more importantly a new camp.
The team has returned to their Oxnard River Ridge complex for the 16 time in the past 21 years.
It's certainly a "home away from home" for many of these players and coaches, but it has been nearly three years since the Cowboys returned to these familiar setting of Oxnard, which don't have the same COVID-19 restrictions from a year ago.
With every new season, teams are looking to build on the success from a year ago. The Cowboys definitely had their share of that, winning 12 games and dominating the NFC East with a 6-0 record against division opponents.
But veteran guard Zack Martin said the start of camp is always the time to turn the page.
"Every year is different. We're still finding our identity as a team," Martin said. "This next month out here is big for us to find our identity."
Martin was then asked what type of identity he would prefer this team to have.
"I want to be a tough football team," Martin said. "I want to be a smart football team. I think last year we had some trouble with some discipline for us. I think that's A-No. 1 for us – a disciplined, tough football team."
While Martin is one of the leaders on offense, the Cowboys also brought out safety Jayron Kearse to speak to the media. Unlike Martin, this is only the second season for Kearse with the team, but he spoke of the benefits that come with holding a camp this far away from home.
"The thing I like about camp the most is just being around these guys in a different atmosphere," Kearse said. "We're out here working and grinding. That's really the No. 1 thing. We get to gel together for 2-3 weeks together. That's going to be a huge help for us."
And Kearse certainly brought up the weather, which is likely the No. 1 reason the Cowboys have made the annual trip to California, where the temperatures stay around the 60s and 70s every day.
"I'm pretty sure we're all happy to be here in Cali right now," he said.
With the Cowboys getting settled in an unpacked on Monday, here is what the next few days looks like here in Oxnard:
- Tuesday – Opening press conference that features owner Jerry Jones, chief operating officer Stephen Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy.
- Wednesday – First practice on the field (11:30 a.m. PDT)
- Thursday: Practice (11:30 a.m. PDT)
- Friday: Practice (11:30 a.m. PDT)
- Saturday – Opening Ceremony (9:30 a.m. PDT & Practice at 11:30)