I thought for this final CowBuzz of the regular season I'd take you guys behind the scenes of a Cowboys' road trip, welcome to the trip to the nation's capital.
For road trips, we leave Dallas the day before the game, this week we flew out on Saturday. The morning of the travel day, players and coaches report to Valley Ranch early for breakfast, treatments, meetings and walk-throughs. They then head to the airport sometime around noon depending on where we travel and the time it takes to get there.
For this trip TSA screening began at 11:45am and everyone had to be checked into the charter site by 12:45am. The great thing about travelling with the team is we don't have to go through the terminal. We park in a lot on the outskirts of the airport and are screened by TSA right there, then walk directly onto the plane.
During check-in, we're given a seating chart (assigned seating). Players are typically in the same seats each week with coaches and veteran players in first class and other players toward the back of the plane. Employees and media members are in between. Our employee seats tend to be different each trip based on the size of the plane and how many guests make the trip.
Once on the plane and you're in your seat, the fun begins, pretty much every fat kid's dream. Each seat has a bag of "goodies" waiting in it. This bag consists of red and green grapes, cheese and crackers, a bag of chips, a nutrition bar, some type of candy and a bottle of water. Drinks are unlimited as are any of the "goodies" as long as they don't run out.
Once in the air the in-flight movie starts, usually a newly released action or sports type film. As the movie is playing, the flight attendants begin taking food orders. We normally have the option of some type of chicken and vegetable dish or some form of beef and potatoes. Most of the players don't eat the plane food as it's a tradition that the rookies bring food for the other guys at their position.
Once all meals have been consumed and the trays have been picked up, the good stuff comes around. First down the aisle are ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bars followed by fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and milk. The entire plane smells like cookies and even if you don't want one, you will by the time the attendants get to your seat.
Once we land we depart the plane on the tarmac where team buses await us. No dealing with the terminal again when we arrive, just straight off the plane and onto the buses.
On most trips we are led to the team hotel by a police escort to avoid traffic and stay on schedule so the players can arrive in time for treatments. No matter the city, there are always Cowboys fans waiting in the hotel lobby to greet the team. It's a pretty cool sight to walk into a hotel in another city and see tons of fans decked out in Cowboys gear.
On game day there are two sets of buses that head to the stadium. An early set of buses, that usually depart for the stadium about four hours before the game and a late set of buses that depart about an hour after the early ones. All game day buses have a police escort to avoid traffic and make sure we get there on time.
After the game the locker room opens for reporters about 30 minutes after the game ends. At that time the media conduct interviews as players change and gather their belongings for the trip home. Players then head to the buses where they are screened by TSA and then we head to the airport for the return flight home.
And that Cowboys fans, is a trip on the road with the Dallas Cowboys.
A few cool things that happened on this trip to DC:
As I'm sure you're aware, Emmitt Smith's single season Cowboys rushing record fell to DeMarco Murray. Emmitt sent out this tweet shortly after:
DeMarco responded with a tweet of his own:
Another record also fell Sunday, Dez Bryant broke Terrell Owens' record for most TD in a season by a Cowboy. T.O. sent out this tweet shortly after:
Montell Jordan is a big Cowboys supporter and makes and tries to catch a Cowboys game every season. He made it out to D.C. this week and brought his family. He even made a cameo on dallascowboys.com's PreGame Live Show with our own Nick Eatman and Chase Williams.
He stuck around after the game and met some of the guys.
And fans, "Dez Is How We Do It!" I've been waiting all weekend to write that!