OXNARD, Calif. – After taking you on a tour of southern California on Wednesday that included stops in Irvine, Ventura and Newport Beach, we are back in Oxnard as the players report for workouts after their first mandated day off in camp.
Early Thursday morning, I’m informed that Randall Cobb will be our interview for the day, and we should be set up and ready to go between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. As requested, Randall shows up and is ready to go. Cobb is in his first season wearing the Star, after spending his first eight years in the NFL in Green Bay. He doesn’t like to talk about the Packers much, so I try and save the question about Dez Bryant and the catch late in the interview, since it was the Packers who ended the Cowboys’ season twice in recent history. And Randall was gold, saying who knows if It was a catch. How does anybody know what is a catch these days? Good answer.
During our interview session on the field, we get to visit with Jaylon Smith, who is coming off his best season in a Cowboys uniform after not knowing if he was going to ever be able to play again after his devastating knee injury in his final game for Notre Dame. The Cowboys took a chance on him in the 2016 draft and it has paid off. Now combined with Leighton Vander Esch, they could arguably be the best linebacker duo in the NFL.
We have reached that point in camp where you don’t know what day it is. Just about every day in camp is the same. Morning workouts for an hour and the afternoon practice in pads for two hours. We call it ground hog day, like the movie, but there are points, like Jerry Jones’ interview after the evening workout, that breaks it up.
Stephen Jones started to hold court after practice before bolting, when I asked about Zeke’s contract status. So we spot Jerry visiting with employees after practice, and he also does an end around the waiting media, until one reporter corners him on the way out. That’s all it takes and now everyone is in on the interview at a very awkward location — Jerry on the steps of the V.I.P tent. But everyone is in the same boat, and when the interview is over we rush to change the line up of the show. Jerry and his reaction to Ezekiel Elliott’s hold out that has now gone one week is the lead.
We get it done. The live shot comes off with little drama, and it’s time to decide where we will dine tonight. Billy calls out BJ’s. Now keep in mind, back in the day BJ’s was the only restaurant in town aside from Outback that had a decent menu. We used to eat there every night. We have sampled everything on the menu, and every night was packed. Not any more, at least not on Thursday night but still great food. Three days left.