Dallas Cowboys Arrive at Training Camp in Oxnard with Big Expectations

(Michael Ainsworth / Photographer for The Dallas Morning News)

The return of Dallas Cowboys football is one step closer since the team opened training camp on July 21st. Team Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Mike McCarthy gave a press conference from the team’s facilities in Oxnard, California. The Cowboys have not spent training camp in Oxnard for nearly two years.  

“I’m excited to get on the field and get going and start building what we know we can accomplish. At the end of the day, it’s about winning a championship. Nothing else matters,” McCarthy said. 

Training camp will open with plenty of drama while questions continue to linger about the long-term health of quarterback Dak Prescott’s surgically-repaired ankle and whether Ezekial Elliot can return to form after a disappointing 2020 season. Probably the biggest question will be if the Cowboys and new Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn are able to right the ship on defense.  

Jones says that the message from the team to the world, in their return to Oxnard, is one of triumph and expectation. 

“It is so important for the Cowboys to show in this way, we are back, here we are, we’re back to business,” Jones said of the team’s return to the West Coast. They did not travel to the specially designed training facility last season due to coronavirus restrictions. 

It was recently reported that the Cowboys are one of the teams that have yet to meet a threshold for vaccination rates that would ease travel restrictions and provide better one-on-one coaching opportunities over the next several weeks.  

“We have what I call “in the pipeline” that’s committed, but is at some various stages of whether they need two vaccines or if they are waiting a specific period of time,” Jones said. “Out of our 90 players here, we have a handful who have yet to commit.” 

Jones added that about 77 percent of the team is fully vaccinated, and they will be ready to play Pittsburgh in the Hall of Fame Game. 

McCarthy spoke at length about the progress that Prescott has made in the offseason. The injured Quarterback worked with trainers and coaches throughout the off-season to ensure his healthy return. Prescott brings a level of leadership to the Cowboy locker room that McCarthy said was as important as his being on the field.  

“Last year was hard, every year you have adversity that you go through as a team both personally and professionally,” McCarthy said. “Last year, we were definitely on the high end of it. We will be better from that. I’m convinced of that.” 

Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones said that bringing Quinn on board will help bolster the performance and instill a competitive spirit.  

“We’ve got people with pedigree here that I think can help us take it to the next step,” Jones said.  

HBO’s Hard Knocks, which started yesterday (August 1st), captures a backstage look at the struggles and strife of the Dallas Cowboys training camp. The Cowboys and Steelers face off in the Hall of Fame Game on August 5th. 

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