Dallas Cowboys Voluntary Workouts Begin Today

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

NFL football doesn't officially kick off for another few months, but most teams are starting their voluntary offseason programs today as they start preparations for the 2013 season.

The 2013 NFL season officially gets under way for the Cowboys today with the start of voluntary off-season workouts. The Cowboys weren't very active in free agency, only bringing in safety Will Allen and linebacker Justin Durant from outside, but that doesn't mean there won't be any new faces in the locker room today.

The Cowboys currently have 67 players on their roster, 21 of whom were not on the season-opening roster in September 2012.

All players, new and old alike, will see a lot of new faces among the coaching staff as well. In total, there are seven new hires and one promotion among the coaching staff, all conveniently highlighted with a green background in the table below.

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Bill Callahan
Offensive Coord./Offensive Line
Monte Kiffin
Defensive Coordinator
Rich Bisaccia
Special Teams Coordinator
Wade Wilson
Quarterbacks
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
Derek Dooley
Wide Receivers
Matt Eberflus
Linebackers
Chris Boniol
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Gary Brown
Running Backs
Jerome Henderson
Secondary
Brett Bech
Asst. Strength and Conditioning
Wes Phillips
Tight Ends
Leon Lett
Assistant Defensive Line
Kendall Smith
Asst. Strength and Conditioning
Frank Pollack
Assistant Offensive Line
Ben Bloom
Quality Control/Linebackers
Jimmy Robinson
Consultant
Keith O'Quinn
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
Joe Baker
Assistant Secondary

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As for those voluntary workouts, here are the rules.

The Cowboys will get a 10-week window for their nine-week offseason programs. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and they are limited to weekdays. These initial practices are entirely voluntary, with mandatory minicamps not starting until June. There will be three phases to the workouts, all spelled out in the CBA.

Phase one will cover the first two weeks, with players limited to strength and conditioning or injury rehab. This phase will only allow onto the field full-time or part-time strength and condition coaches that otherwise have no other coaching responsibilities. No footballs can be used, except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. The players cannot wear helmets during phase one.

Phase two covers the next three weeks of the offseason workout program. All coaches are allowed onto the field and on-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. However, there can be no live contact or team offense versus team defense drills and players cannot wear helmets during this phase.

Phase three covers the next four weeks of the workout program, which can include up to ten days of organized team activities. This provides a chance for more instruction and helmets, but players cannot wear any pads, including shells.

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Here are the key offseason dates for the Cowboys between now and the Hall of Fame game:

  • April 15: Start of offseason workout program
  • April 25-27: NFL Draft
  • Early May: Rookie Minicamp (Either May 3-5 or May 10-12)
  • Three OTA sessions (veterans and rookies) scheduled: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
  • June 11-13: Mandatory Minicamp
  • July 19: Training camp opens (Oxnard, CA)
  • August 4: Hall of Fame Game versus Miami Dolphins

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And Cowboys players are getting ready to participate. Here's a selection of tweets from the last couple of days from a few players:

And finally, this one, just for good measure:

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