Jason Garrett was right when he said that his introductory news conference as coach of the Cowboys was not the appropriate time or place to address training camp logistical issues.
Okay, so I will.
These split training camps are ridiculous, draining, counterproductive and arguably even dangerous. The team is contractually obligated to spend at least part of next summer's camp in San Antonio, but Jerry Jones says splitting some camp time in Oxnard is possible if not likely.
Pick a place, and stay there, Jer.
This summer it looks like it's got to be San Antonio. But I would support the idea of moving camp, all of camp, to Oxnard at the first opportunity, and keeping it there. I say this as a San Antonio based correspondent who enjoys the convenience of just hopping in my truck and driving 15 minutes to the Alamodome to cover camp. But the Dome is a horrible training venue. There's a circus atmosphere that screams "marketing" more than "preparation." The lighting is poor. The artificial turf is hard on ankles, knees, hips and backs, and the air conditioning perpetuates this ongoing perception of "Camp Cupcake," regardless of how demanding the practices actually are. Shuttling the team from its downtown hotel headquarters to the Dome and back is a fire drill.
As much as I love my town and want to advance and protect its interests, Oxnard is just far superior. Beautifully manicured natural grass fields. Accommodations that allow players, coaches, staff and media literally to walk out of their rooms and immediately get to work. Much less wasted time, much less wasted effort, much less needless aggravation and distraction. True, those July and August SoCal temperatures aren't too much different than the Alamodome's controlled climate. But overall, Oxnard--while still very fan and marketing friendly--is just a more businesslike, efficient and football-centric environment than is San Antonio.
JG has gone out of his way to stress that camp will be physically and mentally demanding. Oxnard is just more conducive to that mindset than is San Antonio. Period.
As I mentioned last week, Garrett strikes me as the most Landry-esque coach the Cowboys have had since Landry. I, for one, would like to see camp conducted in a more "Landry-like" setting, and kept there.