Cowboys arrive in Oxnard ready for work
After seeing 30 other teams open camp during the week, the Cowboys open the work Sunday with a conditioning test followed by Monday’s first full-squad practice.
More than 2,000 military personnel greeted the Cowboys’ charter plane at Point Mugu Naval Air Station in Oxnard, Calif., on Saturday afternoon. The players signed autographs for an hour before busing to the Cowboys’ headquarters for the next month at the Residence Inn River Ridge.
“I think there’s definitely urgency,” tight end Jason Witten said after walking off the plane. “I don’t know when the window is open and closed, but there’s unbelievable urgency. We feel like we’re a good team, but we’ve got to execute better. We’ve got to play better in key situations. Just go back to that last game, I think that’s clear. Everybody has an understanding of that. But for us, it can’t be the same old story. Our actions have got to speak louder than our words. That’s the approach we’re taking. Thirty-one teams have the same goal. We’ve got to do something about it.”
For the last six-plus months the Cowboys have carried the disappointment of losing the 2011 regular-season finale, 31-14, to the New York Giants, which was made even worse when the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.
Optimism has taken over the disappointment.
“Excited, man,” Witten said. “This is a long time coming obviously going back to the Giants’ game and the way it ended, it couldn’t get here fast enough. So it’s great to be back here and get started. This is where you put the work in to hopefully have a great season.”
Because the Cowboys do not kickoff the preseason until Aug. 13 at Oakland, they and the Raiders were the last teams to official report to training camp. Officially players have until Sunday to report to camp; however most of the team flew from Dallas.
The Cowboys begin the regular season Sept. 5 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium and are in a little bit of a catch-up mode since the Giants reported to camp four days earlier. Witten does not think the later start time will mean much by the time kickoff comes, but he knows camp will go fast.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do these next five weeks, that’s for sure,” Witten said. “I think everybody’s looking forward to where we pick up where we left off in the offseason and excited about the opportunity.”
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