In a radio interview last week, Keith Brooking said that the Cowboys players would start their own, player-only workouts this week. According to various reports around the Metroplex, the first of those workouts took place yesterday at an undisclosed location in Dallas. FOXSportsSouthwest.com's Matt Mosley, citing an unnamed Cowboys starter, said 40-45 players were in attendance for a two-hour workout.
According to a tweet by Cowboys safety Barry Church, the players conducted half speed workouts and went through some 7 on 7 drills, which is similar to what would be done in a regular, coach-run mini-camp session if the lockout hadn't been reimposed.
Team veterans Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware organized the workout. Romo said he was very pleased with the turnout:
"The guys were excited to be out there. It was a crisp and fast-paced practice. You could tell the guys were energized to be back into football on the field. I think as we continue to do this going forward, it will help us improve tremendously this off-season. Any competitive advantage we will be able to obtain, that's why we're out there doing the things we're doing. We're excited knowing we'll be that much farther along and we'll be in football shape.''
Jason Witten earlier talked about the need to be prepared for when training camp eventually starts:
"We have to do that as a group, work out. You can't just go to training camp without having done any work. It's going to be a very important part of what we do. It's about us going to work and doing it together.''
Keith Brooking sees these workouts as an opportunity for team leaders to step up:
"Your leaders can step up, it's a great time for them to be really strong examples for your team and come together. It's just players out there. We're going to be coaching each other, we're going to be out there practicing together, so it's going to be a good time for us. It can make us all better. It's a little unusual, it's a little different, but I think if you handle it the right way - and I think that we're doing that here - it can be a time where you grow the team and get better."
If you are the type that likes to see the Cowboys being bigger and better than other teams, you'll be pleased to hear that the 40-45 players participating in Tony Romo's workouts beat the 37 players assembled by Drew Brees in Tulane and clearly outpaced the 11 players who came together at Eli Manning's behest in, where else, New Jersey. The Jets "West Camp" run by Mark Sanchez and attended by 14 players so far is conveniently located just around the corner from New York Jets headquarters. In California.
Hat tip to starmesh23 for the FanShot.