Deemed physically fit after four locked-out months apart, the Cowboys were finally back on the field together Thursday morning for an opening training camp walkthrough.
Jason Garrett's first camp workout as head coach lasted about an hour. They started with special teams, broke into position groups for individual drills and finished with team drills without pads or helmets. The new Collective Bargaining Rules allow only one full-contact practice and only four hours of on-field work per day, so the team held a three-hour practice at 2:30 p.m. (CT).
Thursday morning wasn't full speed, but the players were noticeably brisk and intense in their first official workout since last New Year's Eve.
"Coach had to call us to tone it down a bit," wide receiver Dez Bryant said, "because we were so anxious to get back on the field."
Said Garrett: "Our guys are excited to get back into this. They've been away from football for a long time. The business of the NFL has been the focus for the last six or seven months, but our guys love to play football and we feel like we've got the right kind of guys."
Some highlights from the morning session and the team over the last 24 hours:
*Garrett said Wednesday's conditioning test went well overall and that no players were unfit to practice. Pre-camp tests (a series of sprints) happen each year, but this year's was particularly important because the players weren't supervised by the coaching and athletic training staff during the lockout.
*Another example of this unusual, somewhat unprecedented camp: the scheduled 10 a.m. walkthrough started a few minutes late because the players were voting as part of the NFLPA recertification process league-wide.
*The depth chart was noticeably thin due to the absence of the team's free agents and impending roster cuts. Without Doug Free (unsigned), Kyle Kosier (unsigned), rookie Tyron Smith (unsigned Thursday morning) and Andre Gurode (injured), the first-team offensive line included Jermey Parnell, rookie Bill Nagy, Phil Costa, Montrae Holland and Sam Young.