OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys have returned to their summer home -- Oxnard, California -- for training camp after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team to stay home last season.
But this year features a very different look than usual thanks to tight security around the Cowboys Camp headquarters and protocols that apply to all of the players, coaches and staff, as well as the media on hand.
There are reports that only 70% of the Cowboys players have been vaccinated, well below the NFL’s 85% threshold. Unvaccinated players will be tested daily by a bio-medical team on site, and vaccinated players will be tested once a week.
Reporters, like myself, that are covering the camp this year must be vaccinated. We also must have tested negative for COVID-19 in order to obtain a camp credential and the NFL’s 2M status for access to players. Reporters will also be required to wear a COVID tracker and return it to media relations office at the end of each day.
Check out the new Cowboys Camp logo this year. Do you remember the old one? pic.twitter.com/vAYvQ8nDDF— Greg Simmons (@GregSimmonsKSAT) July 21, 2021
Our one-on-one interviews will also look different this camp, with reporters separated by the player that is being featured by a short fence. It will be similar to what viewers saw during the last regular season, when the reporter was in the stands and not on the field.
Even with all the new regulations it will be good to get back to some sense of normalcy, and if you followed us on twitter today, you got a taste of our return to camping with the Cowboys in California.
From the early morning plane ride for photographer Billy Caldera and producer Mike Klein to LAX, to hitting the 405 and the perpetual traffic jam it shares with drivers on a daily basis, and our favorite off campus live shot location with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. We even got a bonus photo from Billy, who caught this shot after our 5 pm broadcast. Hollywood at work.
Look what Billy caught on camera after our 5 pm broadcast. Hollywood at work! pic.twitter.com/7iGpIKFCOz— Greg Simmons (@GregSimmonsKSAT) July 20, 2021
As our own Steve Spriester joked on Tuesday, quoting the lyrics of LL Cool J, “Going back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali” is what we are looking forward to even with all the new challenges on and off the field.