Somewhat hard to believe, the Cowboys, as of today, June 27, are within four weeks of heading off to Oxnard, Calif., for the start of training camp.
In fact, just 27 days away.
So while the players are technically off, and so is the coaching staff, most of the front office and a whole bunch of the rest of us, let's pick up a few dangling pieces, cleaning out a notebook before beginning anew after next week's Fourth of July break.
There're always some Shots hanging around.
- Kids These Days: Nice reminder on Sunday out at the Citi Dak Prescott Football Pro Camp, attended by several hundreds of kids at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club, Texas. Dak does a good job at these camps of actually mingling with the groups of campers, talking, instructing, high-fiving, more than just putting his name on the two-day event. So when asked what questions he's asked the most, sure sounded like a reminder of the 1990s TV show, Kids Say The Darndest Things. Said Dak, "Probably less about the season and more about Fortnite. They are obsessed with Fortnite. 'What's my favorite Fortnite dance, do I play Fortnite with Zeke?' But obviously the kids are going to ask you, 'Are you going to win a Super Bowl?' And then that's what you hear most from the parents out there." Dak Prescott, what's your response? "I'm trying. I'm doing my absolute most to try to get that." Guess the rest of us aren't alone fielding those questions.
- Busman's Holiday: You've heard the term right, getting away from work but still sort of working. Well, Dak says plans are being made for him and a group of the Cowboys receivers to get together during this down time to work on refining routes and timing. He said Zeke, too. Reminds me of those '90s glory days, when Michael Irvin would always say, "If 8's throwing," in reference to quarterback Troy Aikman, "then I'm going." Meaning, he's going to be there. Young receivers should heed those words if Dak is willing to go the extra mile.
- When Tony Speaks: Guess Tony Romo is finding out being a CBS TV analyst isn't much different from being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. When you speak, everyone is listening. Romo, at his youth football camp back in Wisconsin, was quoted as saying the Green Bay Packers are his team to beat this season, and sounds as if he wasn't simply being parochial to the home state folks. He likes how the Packers improved their secondary, along with signing tight end Jimmy Graham. And he sure knows how important a good tight end is to an offense, right Jason Witten?
- Top 10: So in this year's NFL Network Top 100, the Cowboys placed four players – DeMarcus Lawrence (34), Tyron Smith (39), Ezekiel Elliott (54) and Zack Martin (71). That means the Cowboys finished in a four-way tie for 10th. Tied for the top spot with seven were the Rams and Vikings. Next with six came Jacksonville, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Then the Chargers, Eagles and Seahawks with five apiece. Followed by the Cowboys Houston, New Orleans and Tennessee with four each. Yeah, no Dak. Funny how quickly they forget, Dak falling from last year's 14 to out the Top 100.
- What In The World: For those in such a hurry to place Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the "hot seat" in 2018, meaning win a couple of playoff games or else, here is something to ponder: Only one Cowboys head coach has finished with fewer than Garrett's one losing season in their careers here: Chan Gailey. He went 10-6 and 8-8 before he was fired. Garrett, Wade Phillips, Bill Parcells and Barry Switzer are next with one losing season each. Jimmy Johnson endured two during his five years, but won two Super Bowls in the last three. And as for Tom Landry, after the Cowboys suffered through losing seasons in their first five years of existence with Landry as head coach, the team under Landry only had three more losing seasons in the next 24, one of those the strike-shortened 1987 season (7-8) and another going 7-9 in 1986, though the Cowboys were 6-2 and tied with the Giants for first place in the NFC East with the top-ranked offense before quarterback Danny White was lost for the season in Game 9 against the Giants with a broken wrist. Just something to think about, along with only Landry having coached the Cowboys longer than Garrett, who is entering his eighth season.
How's that for a few Shots?