OXNARD, Calif. – When the Dallas Cowboys report for training camp in Oxnard, California, on Tuesday, it will be one like no other.
For me personally, this will be my 39th Dallas Cowboys training camp. I have been fortunate to cover this event since 1981, when the Cowboys were still training in Thousand Oaks, California. But this camp will be a first, not for just me, but for all of my colleagues. This will be the first time we have had to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that will present. The NFL is allowing the Cowboys to train away from their facility at the Star in Frisco after shutting down Oxnard last year, but with added restrictions that includes limiting the amount of media allowed to attend these sessions.
Our staff has been informed that all media are required to be vaccinated. I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will also be required to provide a negative covid test within the last 14 days... 72 hours is preferable.
Media will also be required to stay in designated areas and in some cases even in the stands with the fans if there are too many media requests. It will be interesting to see what interaction we will be allowed with the players during interviews. In past camps, it was every man or woman for themselves in what turned out to be a scrum of microphones and cameras -- especially for the more popular players.
This will also be my first chance to experience training camp under Mike McCarthy. That will bring its fair share of changes as well. McCarthy likes to get things done earlier in the day, starting with his press conferences. Practices usually begin shortly thereafter with player interviews to follow. That sits well with me and our crew, since we are already two hours behind when we start our day, at least compared to San Antonio time.
Join me, top-notch photographer Billy Caldera and gifted producer Mike Klein as we bring you the latest news and information from the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp in Oxnard starting on Tuesday, July 20 and continuing live over the next two weeks.
I, for one, am happy to be back.