IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys changed venues from Valley Ranch and wrapped up their minicamp and their offseason Thursday at a familiar place to the veterans.
Head coach Jason Garrett had his players practice for the last time prior to camp at AT&T Stadium, as the Cowboys' offseason came to a close, with the last practice capped by a pick from seventh-round corner Terrance Mitchell.
Photos from the third day of the 3-day Cowboys' minicamp.
As the practice finished, Garrett addressed the team for a final time without vocalizing anything particularly new or unique. Instead, he stressed the same message about how his players should always strive to be their best, and he hopes that continues during this break.
"I try to convey that message to our guys a thousand different ways using a thousand different examples, and no different today," Garrett said. "We had a really good practice to finish a really good minicamp to finish a really good offseason program.
"We have the right kind of guys on our football team. They work the right way, we're coming together. We have a long, long way to go. We all know that. We've made great strides here over the course of the offseason. I like how our team works, now it's time for them to get away from it and come back recharged, ready to go and getting ready for training camp."
Garrett said this time between minicamp and training camp is vital for everyone. The team has more than a month away before departing for Oxnard, California, on July 22. He said he wants everyone to take advantage of that time off and embrace every day away, but Garrett knows football and the Cowboys will always be in the back of their minds.
"We're all very much invested in it, so you're always thinking about it," he said. "You try to get away from it, but it's always on your mind, it's always kind of in your person trying to somehow, some way do it better, make it better, be better yourself, be better for your team. Whether that makes it go quickly or slowly, I don't know. But you're always fighting that balance." [embedded_ad]
The Cowboys had nine draft picks this offseason to analyze throughout rookie minicamp, Organized Team Activities and team minicamp. That's the most draft picks since 2009.
Some, like Anthony Hitchens, had to jump into action with the starters more quickly than anticipated. Others, like Zack Martin, began with the ones immediately. Mitchell missed time because of school but showed no signs of slowing down and might have been the most noticeable rookie the last couple days of minicamp.
All of the draft picks, according to Garrett, seemed to make strides as the offseason carried on.
"Our coaches coach our players hard, and they coach them well, and when you have the right kind of guys who have some ability, they're going to get better," Garrett said. "We threw a lot of guys in there, we threw a lot of stuff at them, and I think they responded well to it. They're far from being where they need to be, we all understand that. But I always tell our players, let's go back and watch that tape of OTA 1, we'll kind of laugh at that, we'll chuckle at that, because we're different."