FRISCO, Texas – The calendar has only just turned to April, but it's already starting to fill up with important dates for the Cowboys.
The announcement of the preseason and regular season schedules is still a few weeks away, but the NFL revealed the key dates for each club's offseason programs on Monday afternoon.
Although many players have been working out at The Star for weeks, the official start date for the Cowboys' offseason program is April 17, with Organized Team Activities slated for May 23-25, May 30-31, June 1 and June 5-7.
The Cowboys' mandatory minicamp, which concludes the offseason program, will be held from June 13-15.
With the Cowboys set to begin the program, it's worth revisiting how everything is structured, per the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement. All aspects of the offseason program are voluntary, with the exception of the June minicamp.
Phase One constitutes the first two weeks of the program and is limited solely to strength and conditioning. The following three weeks constitutes Phase Two, which permits on-field teaching and drills – though there is no live contact permitted, and the offense is not allowed to work against the defense.
Phase Three is made up of what's commonly referred to as OTAs. Live contact is still prohibited, but teams are allowed to run 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on-field.
NFL clubs are also permitted to host one rookie minicamp following the NFL draft, giving their incoming rookies a chance to get onto the field with coaches. The permitted dates for that camp are either one weekend or two weekends following the draft, which concludes on April 29.
The Cowboys have not released the dates for their rookie minicamp as of yet.