Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Updated: May 4, 8:34 AM ET
Cowboys have on-field workout
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- For the first time during the NFL lockout, the Dallas Cowboys players got together for on-field workouts.
Roughly 40 players showed up at an undisclosed location in the area on Tuesday, according to quarterback Tony Romo. Safety Barry Church also tweeted, "great team workout today."
"It went great," Romo said. "We had a great turnout. It was crisp. It was fast. You could feel the energy from the guys being back out there. Guys were committed. It was great to see."
Romo would not talk about which players were or were not in attendance or how many workouts the players have planned.
"Just know that we'll be doing them throughout the month," Romo said.
A Cowboys source told ESPN 103.3 FM's Matt Mosley that receiver Dez Bryant was not there.
Once the lockout was put in place, players have worked out in small groups at facilities in Southlake, Grapevine, McKinney and Frisco. A number of out-of-state players have remained close to home or at their schools to work out.
"The guys know how important it is to be in football shape and ready to go when the lockout ends," Romo said.
The players had planned to have their workouts during May but the lockout nearly came to an end last week. Head coach Jason Garrett said roughly 20 players made it to Valley Ranch for workouts and meetings with their position coaches last Friday. By the end of the day, however, the NFL was granted a temporary stay and the doors were locked again.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the NFL an expedited hearing on the injunction, which will be heard on June 3. It is possible players could be allowed back to work pending a ruling on a permanent stay.
Romo said the workout was "conducted like a normal mini-camp practice." The coach-run practices in the past have included walkthrough sessions for the offense and defense, followed by 7-on-7, 1-on-1 and team drills.
The sessions will be important for a defense that is learning the system of new coordinator Rob Ryan. For Romo, this was the first time he has thrown passes to a full complement of players since fracturing his left collarbone vs. the New York Giants on Oct. 25, 2010. He was cleared for full activity not long after the season ended.
"It feels great," Romo said of the collarbone. "I wish the season was ready to start."
Todd Archer covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.