FRISCO, Texas – Before the Cowboys head west for training camp on Saturday, July 22, the rookies will get a bit of a head start.
With preseason starting earlier than usual with the Aug. 3 Hall of Fame Game, the Cowboys are permitted to have their rookies in for on-field work at The Star in Frisco July 19-21. The entire team, including the veterans, will fly out to Oxnard, Calif., July 22 and hold its first training camp practice two days later.
"It really will be the same roster as a rookie camp," head coach Jason Garrett said last week. "What you're allowed to do is bring true rookies in, then players with no accrued seasons, so all the guys that fit those categories will be here. You're also allowed to bring some injured guys, so we'll selectively choose those guys if we feel like they need some time."
Last week the Cowboys completed their offseason program with a three-day mandatory minicamp. The veterans aren't due back until the team leaves for Oxnard.
"We wrapped it up with a good minicamp these past three days and now this time off, these next five weeks are critical for everybody," Garrett said last Thursday. "The guys will get away from it a little bit, then they're going to get back to work so they're ready to go come training camp. Excited about the opportunities in front of us."
Garrett said the rookies would do lifting and running with the strength and conditioning coaches this week, but then they're off for a few weeks like the rest of the team.
The work will pick up again days before it's time to leave for camp.
"It's been good. A lot of progress," defensive end Taco Charlton said. "Getting coached by Coach (Rod Marinelli), Big Cat (defensive tackles coach Leon Lett), my game is only going to improve and keep on improving."