Dallas Cowboys Countdown To Oxnard

Will Tony Romo remain healthy throughout the 2014 campaign? Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Will Tony Romo remain healthy throughout the 2014 campaign? Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Will Martin

Try to imagine how much of a circus Northern California would be in the event that indeed the Dallas Cowboys said, ‘what the hell’ and went for it with the drafting of ‘Johnny Football’.

The 2014 NFL Draft happened exactly two months ago. Already the state of Ohio has had a glimpse of what’s to be when the stalkarazzi and the beat writers decide to stay close to the action where Johnny Manziel is concerned.

As a lifelong guy who has spent 36 years as a waiter or bartender-a profession I love-rest assured there’s a score of plants waiting for the opportunity to catch the Aggie Diva in action with an instagram that will (insta)incarcerate the content of character that will be Johnny Manziel.

If the last photo of Manziel with rolled up dollar is true where allegations go say hello to new meaning for the term ‘Instagram’.

If this were Dallas, Calvin Hill would not be enough to tone down #2. Perhaps a better guy to keep Manziel mellow would be someone like Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson. For you younguns out there go back 40 years ago, ask Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and Grandma about the off field exploits of this ballplayer who let most of his salary go through the pipe or his nose before sobering up 11-3-83.

He even won the lottery-TWICE-after cleaning up.

Yes, it could be a few years before we see Johnny Manziel give an interesting testimony about ‘wearing #2 and indeed being second.’ Despite being the old guy in the building I’ll assume that Johnny will get it and figure it out as the season draws nearer.

Closer to home the news is actually pretty sedate save for a linebacker acquisition by way of the Baltimore Ravens. One time Oakland Raider and Crimson Tide linebacker Rolando McClain. It has been two years since McClain has seen any playing time due to off the field issues and arrests. On the one hand you can buy into the argument that a little bit of edginess in the defensive middle may be just what the Cowboys after a year of allowing close to 30 plus points a game.

When camp commences in Oxnard will it be Rolando McClain who is able to compete with names like Justin Durant, Devonte Holloman, or an Anthony Hitchens for becoming the starter in place of (out for the year) Sean Lee with a torn ACL? Or will he be a huge bust and Jerry Jones will need to look elsewhere at a position where the Cowboys appear weakest?

The Tony Romo angle has been Zapruderized from so many angles that I will go past that route. Two back surgeries in one year I will be shocked if Tony makes it through healthy for a whole season.

The bigger story come July 22 in Oxnard will be whether or not Kyle Orton comes back or just retires with the hope of not returning the three million or so he took from Jerry?

Jason Garrett one month ago made it very clear he will deal with the K.O. situation as he would any other. Having spoken so highly of the pedigree of Brandon Weeden I expect Weeden to get the lions share of the snaps for the three week retreat.

As for Brandon Weeden he’s been preparing for training camp like any other walk-on athlete. Ready to do whatever it takes to be the #2 guy behind #9.

“I’m going to go about my business the same way regardless. I haven’t met Kyle, so I can’t really speak on it, but whatever he decides to do – it’s kind of out of my control,” Weeden recently said. “So what I’m worried about is, if I’m running with the twos out there, do my job to make the twos better. I want to make the team better any way I can, so it doesn’t change my mindset or the way I feel about it.”

You get the sense that even if Kyle Orton comes to camp (which I am beginning to seriously doubt) his presence or lack thereof will not affect the challenge that awaits the Oklahoma State Alum.

“I just want to continue to get comfortable in the offense, and then obviously my goal is to be the backup quarterback,” he said. “I want to be the backup quarterback and be on this football team and help them get better any way I can – whether that’s giving the defense a look, or whatever that is.”

Still two weeks away from the start of training camp for the Silver and Blue and the rest of the NFL here is a schedule of the dates and times the Dallas Cowboys will be practicing in Oxnard California.

Thursday, July 24th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Friday, July 25th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Saturday, July 26th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Opening Ceremony 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 27th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Monday, July 28th No Practice
Tuesday, July 29th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Military Appreciation Day
Wednesday, July 30th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Thursday, July 31st 3:45 p.m.  Practice
First Responders Appreciation Day
Friday, August 1st No Practice
Saturday, August 2nd 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Sunday, August 3rd 2:30 p.m. – Practice
Blue/White Scrimmage
Monday, August 4th 5:15 p.m. – Practice
Tuesday, August 5th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Military Appreciation Day
Wednesday, August 6th No practice
Team Travel to San Diego, CA
Thursday, August 7th No practice
Preseason Game  Dallas vs. San Diego (9:00 PM CDT)
Friday, August 8th No Practice
Saturday, August 9th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Sunday, August 10th 5:15  p.m.  Practice
Monday, August 11th No Practice
Tuesday, August 12th 3:45 PM – Practice
Wednesday, August 13th 10:30 AM – Practice
Thursday, August 14th 3:45 p.m.  Practice
Friday, August 15th 9:00 a.m. – Walkthrough
Break Camp


Don’t look now but the NFL season is now less than two months away from kicking off. July is the time of year all attention in Texas goes from the mindset of summer and other sports to the gridiron. College, high school, and pro.

Here in the Lone Star State it’s taken to a level that is equal to a cult. Beyond huge and beyond religion. Indeed taken very seriously and you do so at your own risk at the chance you offend other fans who grew up watching the Silver Blue since their inception in 1960 or from 1990 onward.

You can expect a feature a week as we get closer to Oxnard in addition to a season review as camp comes to an end. I know our friends to the South-the Houston Texans-have other ideas about improving in 2014.

It’s almost that time America for you…and America’s Team. Are You Ready?