OXNARD, Calif. – Day 4 we look to be hitting the ground running in stride for a change. Our equipment has arrived wrapped in Packer colors. Not everyone is a Cowboys fan obviously. The day begins as everyday begins at Cowboys camp. Rise and shine at 8 am and off we go shortly after 9 to claim our spot in the media tent. Sometimes there are claim jumpers in the press so you must beat them to the punch since television never travels lightly. We spot an encroacher on KTVT's table and Mike and Billy immediately start throwing equipment on their table to set up a protection perimeter. Yes grown men and women. The morning workout is just special teams so it's set up for Jason Garrett press conference everyday at noon California time and also set up for our one on one interview.
But Oxnard we have a problem.
greg at work As producer Mike Klein and I are attempting to set up the interview set at what is famously known as the Gazebo we are halted in our tracks by security. Volunteer security. These folks are new from the folks we are used to seeing in camp so they are unaware we are allowed in the players area during this time just for one on one interviews. With the help of a Cowboys staff member the confusion is cleared up and we agree on a secret password. Only every time I walk by the volunteer security guard shouts out the password to me. So much for secret password. Remember they are volunteers so we should all cut them some slack. Although I must admit I was amused when they kept asking Brad Sham the voice of the Dallas Cowboys for over 3 decades to show them his pass. It's Brad Sham for goodness sake! Again volunteer...calm.
Our interview on Tuesday was second round draft pick Gavin Escobar out of San Diego State and like all rookies a bit overwhelmed but I thought he handled it well and we move on ready for the afternoon workout and sensing this will be everyone's first shot at interviewing Dez Bryant since the season came to an end. And that premonition would prove to be correct. Dez would talk only a delay. There was a still photographer waiting for some candid shots so we spot DeMarcus Ware stopping and a good chance to catch up with him. What a nice guy and what a great football player. You have to remember he played in all 16 games with a banged up shoulder among other injuries and wound up having to have off season surgery. So it was fun to ask him about the video he posted on Facebook of him lifting over 300 pounds with the clean and jerk 10 times before bending the bar. And then posing with the destroyed bar afterwards. D-Ware would admit that was a message to all offensive lineman. He's back and the shoulder is fine.
Now to Dez - every media outlet in camp was in on this one so you can imagine the crowd around Bryant as he told us he is a changed man. Seen the error of his ways. And is ready to help others keep from making the same mistakes he did all the while thanking Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett for being patient and supportive. Once he resolved his issues with his mom he said that's when he noticed his life was changing for the better.
Coach Garrett told a great story at the afternoon press conference how the Cowboys thought about putting Dez on injured reserve after breaking his index finger against Cincinnati back on December 9. But Bryant came into his office and made an emotional plea to stay off IR and he suited up the next week against Pittsburgh. You may remember Dez also caught a touchdown against the Bengals after breaking his finger. Now all Bryant wants to be is the best receiver in the NFL. If he can continue on this path he just may be able to make that happen. Certainly he has been the star of camp so far.