OXNARD, California – The first two days of the 2019 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp have been flawless so far. There, I have done it -- jinxed us for the rest of the trip. But it’s rare that when you are dealing with that many variables to get you started that it all comes together so nicely. From the flight out, to the drive up and to the set up at Cowboys Camp, everything seems to be working without any glitches…so far. But there are still 9 days left for something to go wrong, and it usually does. I’ll keep you up to date on that.
I am still amazed at the technology we have today that allows us to go live from halfway across the United States on something no bigger than your son or daughter’s grade school backpack. I can remember driving back and forth from Thousand Oaks each night to drop off our tapes from the days events at the Delta Dash counter at LAX for an overnight flight back to San Antonio, where the stories were assembled for the next day. Our first satellite truck that resembled the Winnebago you saw in Space Balls. Now here we are cell phones and everything. Technology is great to depend on until it breaks.
I don’t know if it’s social media that causes the stir created around the holdout of Ezekiel Elliott this training camp, but back in the day it was the norm, especially for rookies. Often, teams would start their training camp without their top draft picks signed, sealed and delivered. Now, since they reworked rookie contracts getting all the picks in camp on time is the norm. Holding out by veterans was unheard of until Emmitt Smith decided to sit out the first two games of the regular season, after the Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1993. Once the Cowboys lost their first two games, Emmitt got his deal. But in this age of “got to know it now,” I can see why constant updates are necessary to feed the social media monster.
Zeke’s holdout took up 30 minutes of the 40 minute “State of the Cowboys” address on Friday in Oxnard, where we saw Jerry Jones and his son Stephen Jones go back and forth with “Elliott is under contract,” “Time is on our side,” and “We will get this all worked out.” There, you know as much as we do.
Cowboys getting ready for camp first press conference. pic.twitter.com/59aly7T0Sa— Greg Simmons (@GregSimmonsKSAT) July 26, 2019
The early live shots came off well with a little help on lighting from our friends at KDFW. That’s the norm at Cowboys Camp. We are all in the same boat, and we are all willing to help each other get the best product on the air. I must admit there was a little apprehension for the Nightbeat live shot, since last year we fought the battle of the monster sprinklers that would fire right at the end of our broadcast forcing us to scramble for cover for the equipment. No such battle this night. Fingers crossed.
Now after updating our digital coverage, we are off to celebrate the birthday of one of the most talented photographers in our business -- Arnold Payne of WFAA, who has been covering the Cowboys camps and games for as long as I can remember. Happy birthday AP, and we will see you tomorrow.