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Greg Simmons' Cowboys Camp Blog: No more yoga, birthday celebrations

OXNARD, Calif. – After tending to some tv and social media deadlines to open our Thursday, we headed out to the morning walk through to catch a few glimpses of camp before the second installment of yoga on grass session for the Cowboys.  It has become the talk of training camp because it's the first time in the 37 years I've been here, we have ever seen anything like this.  But you are always looking for ways to protect your players from injury.  

We had already talked to All-Pro and Pro Bowl tackle Tryon Smith after Wednesday's workout, since he was the guy that started this craze.  Working out on his own with Stacey Hickman out of LA to keep his muscles limber after he missed 3 games last year with a groin and knee injury.  Tyron at 6-5, 320 pounds also has had back issues in the past and this, he says, helps. 

So the Cowboys signed Hickman up for 4 or 5 yoga classes, so we were curious who would be participating on Thursday and come to find out yoga is now OFF LIMITS.  That was the word passed down from the top to the Cowboys public relations department after they have been apparently bombarded by requests for coverage of the unusual workout from national media outlets other than local sports and news organizations that are already in camp. 

They did not want this to be a distraction, so they decided to ban all media coverage of the yoga classes including no interviews with the instructor or players from this point on.  In other words they were not willing to bend on the subject. If you pardon the pun. 

While returning to write more for the upcoming broadcasts and web stories we kept hearing a loud beep in the kitchen area. At first we thought it was the dishwasher letting us know that the cycle had ended, but even after I popped open the door it kept blasting.  Then I thought it was the coffee maker and unplugged that, only to hear the beeping sound off again.  Turns out it was the microwave telling us it was in trouble.  The keypad is out of service and needs repair.  So call in the friendly maintenance man again.  We are getting to know these guys well. After a few minutes of tinkering it appears all is well.  Until they leave.  It's almost like the machine knows they have gone because seconds later the beeping begins again.  Meanwhile Billy investigates and he has the vent hood on and it' sounds like he's sticking his hand in a live microwave and I yell Billy, unplug that thing!  And we have to call for the maintenance man again.  Only this time he is not messing around.  He has brought reinforcements and a new microwave.  Problem solved. 

As the afternoon practice raps up we notice the receivers have gone off on their own to participate in the brick drill.  It's the brainchild of the new receivers coach Sanjay Lal that uses the drill to strengthen the receivers' hands and forearms.  Sometimes you have to fight for the ball or to hang onto the ball and this is suppose to help.  They weigh 25 pounds each and the trick is to hold onto them for as long as you can.  Lance Lenoir won the first competition and Noah Brown the second. Tavon Austin is coming off a wrist injury says right now he's just competing with himself.  

As we were preparing for our broadcast on The Nightbeat the crew of WFAA in Dallas asked us to keep secret that Rowdy, the Cowboys mascot, was hiding nearby with a cake for Dale Hansen.  Dale, who is one of the most recognized faces on television in the state of Texas is celebrating his 70th birthday today and his crew wants to surprise him.  Out runs Rowdy with a fire extinguisher to help Dale blow out all of his candles.  Congratulations to Dale and his long run at WFAA, where he is known for his sports broadcasts, but also his commentaries now.  Dale and I have worked together many times over the years, since we are both ABC affiliates, but became separated in our broadcasts when a different company took over ownership of their station. And one other little tidbit, Rowdy is now played by young man from San Antonio who used to serve as the back up Coyote for the Spurs, Rampage mascot and the then San Antonio Stars Fox.  

And I know you are just dying to hear about the sprinklers. Yes they fired again. Yes they were on a steroid timer and yes they chased us off the field.  In fact having to move our location quickly during the break on the 10:30 broadcast.  It's almost like all the machines, the microwave, fire alarm and now sprinklers are ganging up on us. That's just the conspiracy theorist in me. 

READ: Cowboy's Camp blog day 8


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