Day 8 is Saturday and it starts off well. Media tent pretty vacant upon our arrival. Guessing some of the ladies and gentlemen of the media decided to take in a little nigthlife as the weekend is underway.
As I awake, I find that Jason Garrett has told a radio station in Dallas that Tony Romo will not play in the Hall of Fame game against Miami next week. Jason considers the first game for the ones, as he calls the first team, will be in week 2 since the Cowboys play five preseason games this year. He would later say at his afternoon press conference that he hadn't made up his mind yet but generally the ones only play in three preseason games and since the Cowboys have 5 this year that means they will miss two. My guess is game 1 and game 5. Maybe 5 plays for the ones on Sunday.
For the record, of the players that we have talked to, they really like the motivational side of Garrett and now with the offensive play calling duties handed over to Bill Callahan that gives Garrett more of an opportunity to visit with players individually. He likes to say...make sure today you present the best of you. That's food for thought for any of us, not just a football team.
Today's challenge is to help fill in some packages that we have already edited but need a little more support video and make sure Miles Austin keeps his promise to give us his first interview in camp. Wish us luck.
You didn't wish enough because once again I approached Miles and once again I was rejected like a Tim Duncan block (although producer Mike Klein reminded me he did say he would talk to me today he just didn't say which practice so maybe the third time is the charm tonight).
One big break today is when the Cowboys present Morris Claiborne for our one on one interview. The second year starting conrerback is so polite during the interview with "yes sir, no sir" and while it makes me feel old, I also know he does that out of respect and I appreciate that. And he's still all about the LSU Tigers just two years removed. He says he feels a lot more confident and with the help of working against Dez Bryant feels he is a much better corner this year.
There are a number of folks on our staff, one in particular, who always find it amazing at how fast I can sunburn. Just for the record I have been using sunscreen 70 since I have arrived and I have witnesses. Still prolonged exposure usually winds up with a minor burn that somehow turns into a tan. I know this year is different because I'm not collapsing under the shower head in searing pain when I go to wash my hair. That's how you know you're going bald by the way when the top of your head hurts more than the rest of you. But this year has been more mild out in Oxnard with more of a marine layer in the mornings and very chilly temperatures at night. Sorry, I know that's kind of a slap in the face for those of you back home where it's 102 in the shade. Now I know why Troy Aikman has a summer home in Santa Barbara. My summer home is a campsite at Mezger's ranch on the northside of Lake LBJ which, by the way, I have not seen once this year. They are probably wondering what happened to me although Mr. Mezger keeps up with sports pretty well and probably understands it's all the Spurs fault. But that's ok. I will always trade summer for a run at a Spurs title anyday.
One of the challenges of working on the west coast is keeping up your deadlines back home. There is a two hour difference, so when you wake up in the morning I always like to say you are two hours behind. Nonetheless, you catch yourself freaking out when you think you have missed a deadline because you are looking at the wrong source be it a computer or cell phone. The best rule of thumb for me is keep your watch on San Antonio time and the cell phone on local time. It works, but just today one of our guys freaked our briefly because we are supposed to interview DeMarcus Ware at 4 pm PDT. He looked down at his watch and it was already 4:15...San Antonio time. I can still remember running around like an idiot during the Super Bowl in 96 because I couldn't remember if we were 1 hour or 2 hours behind. Thank you Arizona for more grey hairs. I don't know how flight attendants do it when they are hopping all over the world. They must have more than one watch. As far as pilots are concerned, we all operate on zulu time but don't get me going on that because all my co-workers have done is roll their eyes and plead "why in the world did you ask him a flying question?" It does work, so there.
Our one on one interview for Instant Replay Sunday night is with Cowboys 7 time pro bowler DeMarcus Ware coming off an injury plagued season that had him suffering from everything from a bad wrist to a bad shoulder that eventually would require off season surgery. He's one of the nicest guys on the team and probably the least likely guy I would want to go up against if I was an offensive lineman or quarterback. Where we tape the interviews is located right next to a golf course adjacent to the Marriott Residents Inn and when a few of the golfers saw who we had they started yelling his name. I don't think that came out but listen during the interview to see if you can hear them. They are just being fans, but it also shows you just how big the Cowboys footprint is in the world. Fans recognizing the Cowboys huge defensive lineman out of uniform.
With the blue-white scrimmage set for Sunday, a number of veterans getting Saturday's afternoon practice off including Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Ware. Tony Romo not one of them as I almost collided with him as he used the back way to get onto the field undetected.
Afternoon practice is incredibly cold since they didn't start until 5:15 PDT and didn't finish until 7:30 PDT. Coldest day yet in Oxnard (sorry again SA - know it's hot) but guess what? Third time WAS the charm. Miles Austin did stop and did do the interview as promised. It didn't hurt I had the entire Dallas media contingent hanging around as well. Sometimes there is strength in numbers. It's already 10 o'clock at home - got to go. Final day tomorrow.