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Tales of Cowboys camps past

Tim Colishaw recounts some of the weird things that have happened at Cowboys training camps over his 20 years of covering the team.

Emmitt Smith suffering the strangest injury of his career in Austin. While riding in a golf cart driven by Tommie Agee, Smith had his shirt over his face to keep the dust out of his eyes. So when Agee ran into team mascot Crazy Ray, who had turned and walked in front of the cart (I am not making this up), Smith wasn't looking and was thrown from the cart.

He had to be taken to a hospital for head and neck X-rays. Crazy Ray suffered a cut but was otherwise not injured.

Said Michael Irvin, "I told Tommie if he wasn't Emmitt's friend, we'd be giving him a bus pass and a road map."

New coach Bill Parcells throwing mascot Rowdy off the practice field in San Antonio in 2003. Rowdy was doing his thing, which is reported to be mildly entertaining to a handful of fans. Unfortunately, he was doing it on the field before practice was over.

"Rowdy needs to learn time management, that's all," Parcells said.

Sounds to me like the Cowboys just need to bar any mascots from attending camp.

Mike Fisher at the RanchReport also had a column last week with his stories from past camps.

ITEM: In 1990, receiver Kelvin Martin realizes it is 10:59 p.m., one minute before curfew. As he speeds back to the St. Edward's University campus in Austin, he is pursued by police. Decisions, decisions. ... does he pull over and deal with police, thus ensuring the wrath of Johnson? Or does he try to speed back to camp, thus ensuring the wrath of the cops? Martin, in true Austin form by being Dazed and Confused, decided to hide in a parking lot. A parking lot that turns out to be across the street from a police station. Where the cops find Kelvin. ... and a 9mm pistol resting underneath his seat.

ITEM: In 1991, lineman hopeful Freddie Childress engages in a dorm-room dispute with some of the fellas. Unfortuntely for him, he does so during the scheduled nap time of Mark Tuinei. Tui wakes from his slumber, enters the hallway, and wraps his hands around the ample neck of the 350-pound Childress and hoists him off the ground.

Childress is only temporarily slowed; he announces he's "going to my truck and getting my gun!'' Tuinei is only temporarily awake; while other Cowboys flee from the dormitory, Tui - confident that Childress won't dare mess with him - goes back to sleep.

Good times.

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