The Dallas Cowboys final mandatory minicamp of the preseason concluded on Tuesday despite being scheduled to run through Thursday. The next time the Dallas Cowboys are together as a team will be in Oxnard, California, for the start of Training Camp in late July. Head Coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the press and explained that he decided to cut activities short because the team had satisfied his expectations.
“I think the biggest thing is, you have a starting line and finish line, and I just felt like we crossed the finish line, particularly with the veterans,” McCarthy said during Thursday’s press conference. “Everything we wanted to accomplish in the offseason was completed, and really, the focus turns to their individual five-week plan.”
Both rookie and veteran players will follow a training regimen to stay in football shape and to further learn the offensive and defensive plays before camp.
The Cowboys entered the offseason with serious questions about how they would address one of the NFL’s worst salary cap situations, then saw numerous starters on both sides of the ball leave town. Rather than look to the free-agent market, the Cowboys made an effort to address the team’s needs through the 2022 NFL Draft.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our young players, but just to compliment the coaching staff, that’s really what I echoed in the last staff meeting. I thought they knocked it out of the park,” McCarthy said. “I thought they hit a home run as far as maximizing their time with our players.”
“Veterans, we had excellent participation in Phase 1 (of the voluntary offseason program) and really the captain workouts, Phase 1, and all the way through, so we were able to go through all the concepts with the vets, and then the vets also got all eight installs,” he added. “I think we clearly crossed the finish line of what we were trying to get done this year.”
Rather than hit the field or the weight room when the minicamp concluded, the Cowboys gathered at TopGolf Dallas for much-needed R&R and an opportunity to spend time getting to know each other off the field.
At this point in the season, the team has not practiced with pads on and has not run any contact drills. Rules prevent teams from engaging in contact until training camp to avoid unnecessary injuries.
“This time is really beneficial because I think we all could use a little bit of a break from one another. I think it gives you a chance to get around your family, your friends, to get personally charged, emotionally, mentally,” said McCarthy. “At the end of the day, we all have to do the physical work that needs to get done to make sure we’re ready to go in Oxnard.”
The Cowboys will return to Oxnard next month for the second consecutive time after not making the out-of-town trip during the Coronavirus-impacted 2020 season. The team has not released a start date for the 2022 Training Camp, nor has it announced which days will be open to the public.