FRISCO, Texas – If this weekend was a wakeup call, then the coming days should be even more fun for the Cowboys' rookies.
Strictly speaking, rookie minicamp doesn't end until Sunday. Following their second day of practice on Saturday, the rookie class has one more day of walkthroughs and meetings during their acclimation to the organization.
"They've just got to keep growing," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "We'll come back in here tomorrow, we'll do meetings and a walkthrough. There won't be any real extensive on-field work."
That shouldn't be a problem, because there won't much of a break before their next opportunity to get on the field. Unlike past years, this rookie class will stay in town after rookie minicamp. That means they'll begin working with the Cowboys' veterans as soon as Monday – and they'll integrate into the offseason program when the veterans hit the field on Tuesday.
"We'll still spend a lot of time with them away from the veterans – trying to keep getting them up to speed," Garrett said. "But the biggest thing is they're behind from a knowledge standpoint, from an expertise standpoint. So they've got to catch up there every way they can."
That's to be expected, considering they're rookies -- and just got their playbooks on Thursday. On top of that, though, it might be a steep curve to adjust to the physical demands. There's a big difference between the draft cycle and actual football, and the veteran players have a bit of a head start.
"They're behind from a conditioning standpoint," Garrett said. "Our guys have been in the offseason program for a month now. So these guys have got to catch up in a lot of different ways, but they're going about it the right way."
It was hard to make firm judgments from Friday and Saturday's practices, considering the offense and defense didn't work against each other. But Garrett said he was encouraged by the way the rookies progressed from the first day to the second.
"They were a little more comfortable just knowing what to expect – in the meetings, the walkthrough and once we got out here at practice," he said. "I thought they handled it well, I thought we made some improvements."
That's one step out of the way – but the next steps are coming in quick succession.