New Rules, But Off- Season Beats Lockout

IRVING, Texas – This year's NFL offseason program has several provisions under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Cowboys began "phase one" Monday – a two-week period in which players can conduct strength and conditioning exercises at the team facility but no on-field workouts with the coaching staff.

"Phase two" is three weeks of on-field workouts with coaches, but no live contact or one-on-one drills. "Phase three" lasts four weeks and includes a maximum of 10 OTA workouts, plus a team minicamp.

Head coach Jason Garrett brushed up on the rules during last month's NFL meetings. There are more restrictions, but it certainly beats last year's lockout that barred contact between coaches and players from mid-March through late July.

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, owner of six Super Bowl rings with the '90s Cowboys and '00s Patriots, finally can put his stamp on the offseason program.

"We excited to have a traditional offseason going into a traditional training camp into a traditional season," Garrett said. "I think everybody in this league is. We talked adversity a little before – that's inevitable. Everybody deals with these kinds of things. The teams that handle it best are the ones that will be successful.

So those are the situations we were put in over the last year and a half, you deal with the best you can. Now having a traditional offseason is best for everybody."

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