The Dallas Cowboys will open their 2013 Training Camp by reporting on July 19, 2013 to Oxnard, Calif. for the eighth time since 2001. Practices will begin on Sunday, July 21. New this year is the 4 p.m. practice times, something Cowboys coach Jason Garrett believes will give the players more rest time.
He explained via DallasCowboys.com, “You’re always evaluating what the practices look like, what did practice today look like, what’s the daily schedule. So we just got it pushed back to give the players a little more time between practices. The mornings are going to feel pretty similar to what it felt like in the past, and then we pushed it back by an hour and a half or so.”
The practices are free and open to the public with the exception of the closed August 14 session.
Training Camp Schedule
Sunday, July 21–24: 4:00 p.m.
Friday, July 26th: 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 27: 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 28: 2:30 p.m. – Scrimmage
Monday, July 29–30: 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 1: 4:00 p.m. Military Appreciation Day
Friday, Aug. 2: 5:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 6: 4:00 p.m. Military Appreciation Day
Wednesday, Aug. 7: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 11: 5:15 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 12: 4:00 p.m. First Responders Appreciation Day
Tuesday, Aug. 13: 4:00 p.m. Military Appreciation Day
Wednesday, Aug. 14: Closed to the public
Thursday, Aug. 15: 5:15 p.m.
August 9, 2013 – At Oakland Raiders 9:00 p.m. CDT
August 17, 2013 – At Arizona Cardinals 3:30 p.m. CDT
August 24, 2013 – Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 p.m. CDT
August 29, 2013 – Houston Texans 7:00 p.m. CDT
Training Camp Storylines
Between paying quarterback Tony Romo an absurb amount of money and Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones’ repeated efforts to say coach Jason Garrett’s job is safe, everyone knows the pressure is on for this 2013 team.
No playoffs again has to equal coaching changes in 2014.
The Cowboys haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1996; they’ve had zero postseason visits in three seasons and two consecutive seasons of 8-8 records. Jones’ patience is getting short.
One way to possibly improve its postseason chances was parting ways with former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan whose players were hit by the injury bug in 2013 and overall, well, performed pretty badly. New defensive coordinator, veteran Monte Kiffin, will usher in his 4-3 scheme and bid goodbye to Ryan’s 3-4.
Maybe the biggest question is, how can Kiffin get along with interfering Jones?
Perhaps this is what the defense needs, a different personality leading them. And under Kiffin, his defenses usually sit at the top of the league for turnovers, according to CBS Sports.com.
Regarding position battles, there could be one at safety between Matt Johnson and the offseason pick up of free agent Will Allen, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Allen could get the winning nod as the veteran but sophomore Johnson will fight for playing time after a disappointing rookie year battling a hammy injury.
And don’t forget the rookie, J.J. Wilcox who played well in OTAs. But he is green.
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will be calling the plays instead of Garrett. Again, you have to think this has been a problem in the past and change is needed but the Cowboys say no, everything is fine with Garrett as he’ll focus more on big picture coaching.
Romo is also supposed to take more of a leadership role this season and you have to assume/wonder why this has or hasn’t been done previously. Then again he does easily choke and with even more pressure this year, this should be interesting.
He has two talented wide receivers to work with, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. A third one that could be added to the mix is punt returner Dwayne Harris. In the middle of last season, he showed some promise as a receiver and could see some playing time in this role.
Rookie Terrance Williams comes with expectations and could play in his freshman year while sophomore Cole Beasley could be the darkhorse.
There are some position battles to keep an eye on at camp and one is the right tackle competition between Doug Free and Jermey Parnell. Free chose to remain with the Cowboys after taking to a 50 percent paycut. In June OTAs, time was divided between the two players for reps.
Also look for battles at the guard and center roles. Rookie Travis Frederick could get the starting nod at center or possibly at guard, which has a crowded stable. Nate Livings (left) and Mackenzy Bernadeau (right) are the expected starters but Ronald Leary is expected to give them a run for their money and the players could be switching sides or taking backup roles.