The training camp is a dying thing in the NFL. As teams invest more and more into their own training facilities, the expense and effort of going off to a camp environment somewhere away from the regular facilities are seen as wasted. Only a few teams still relocate annually to have camp, and no one travels as far as the Dallas Cowboys, who currently decamp all the way from north Texas to the California coast.
But one thing cannot be denied about the Cowboys and training camp: They sure know how to do things in a spectacular way.
Although most of us can't be there, we now have Twitter, and a lot of people posting pictures from the event, so here is a quick visual recap of the way Dallas turns a simple business trip into something special.
Even the departure from Dallas was an event. And the coverage at the Point Magu naval airfield certainly made things look like a big deal.
The media assembled and waiting for the Cowboys arrival. #thebig8 @wfaasports #wfaacowboys pic.twitter.com/cfUGAlMVG6— Joe Trahan (@JoeTrahan) July 22, 2014
And when they arrive, the team doesn't just deplane. They get led off by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Pomp and circumstance. pic.twitter.com/ameZ1wJNWL— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) July 22, 2014
Tell me, if you were a player or staff member getting off the plane, would this make you feel that being a part of the Cowboys was something a little bit special?
We've touched down in Cali! #CowboysCamp pic.twitter.com/X4O7hJ2Xfr— Cowboys Cheerleaders (@DCCheerleaders) July 22, 2014
The #Cowboys have landed in Oxnard, Calif. pic.twitter.com/5tPBrayNaP— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) July 22, 2014
After the team and staff had disembarked, they sat down for an autograph session with the military personnel and their families from the local naval installation. This kind of activity is something that all the teams in the NFL have become very conscious of, and generally do a good job with. But it should be noted that the Cowboys were one of the pioneers with this stuff, and make as big a deal of it as anyone.
Tony Romo and the #Cowboys are in Oxnard. And the fans, as always, seem glad to see them pic.twitter.com/VsIacZnq9x— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) July 22, 2014
Tony Romo signing autographs for service men and women at Point Mugu Naval Air Station pic.twitter.com/t4ExDdYuIe— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
Tony Romo autographs football for fan at base. pic.twitter.com/BWgXKmM2eR— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) July 22, 2014
I threw all three of those pictures in because I wanted to check: Is it just me, or does Tony look a little leaned down there?
.@JasonWitten signing autographs for service men and women at Point Mugu pic.twitter.com/jhYxp5WBRl— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
A discussion has emerged on Twitter about the conditioning run that Jason Witten organized yesterday. From what various people are piecing together, the staff decided earlier that there would not be an official conditioning run after the team got to Oxnard, probably because of the history of injuries involved. The players then decided to do one that would involve most of the team, but that players could hold themselves out of if there was a concern about potential injury. Also, being held on Monday, the participants would have longer to recover before practices commence. There is likely going to be a team run tomorrow, but it will be a more relaxed affair.
Other people doing autographs:
.@TerranceWill2 signing a football at Point Mugu pic.twitter.com/CKHhAJPaod— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
.@TCrawford_40 and @HolloMan21 signing autographs for some of our younger fans at Point Mugu pic.twitter.com/gn5ulSi0m3— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
One player that showed up doesn't even have to be there. Of course, the Cowboys have no leadership on the team.
Sean Lee signing a mini-me jersey pic.twitter.com/GQ8lKV3u1z— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
And the players weren't the only ones doing autographs.
.@DeMarcoMurray thanking a serviceman during our autograph session at Point Mugu pic.twitter.com/AckKE2KIUC— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2014
.@DCC_Sydney, @Bease11 and @JamesHanna84 signing autographs for servicemen and women at Pt Mugu pic.twitter.com/iFJrMAcgmv— Cowboys Cheerleaders (@DCCheerleaders) July 22, 2014
.@DCC_Jacie and Cowboys players signing autographs for servicemen and women at Point Mugu Naval Air Station pic.twitter.com/A8o4ji6fzY— Cowboys Cheerleaders (@DCCheerleaders) July 22, 2014
You have to wonder if this little play on words with the names was deliberate.
.@MackB73 and @DCC_Kinzie waiting to sign autographs for our service men and women pic.twitter.com/IvnpIxZGEO— Cowboys Cheerleaders (@DCCheerleaders) July 22, 2014
If you are so far down the depth chart that the photographer doesn't even know your name, well, I guess hanging with a Cheerleader is a decent compensation.
.@DCC_Kelsey along with a couple of @dallascowboys players in between signing autographs pic.twitter.com/1rhLzlN6Ir— Cowboys Cheerleaders (@DCCheerleaders) July 22, 2014
I hope you enjoyed this. I hadn't done anything exactly like this before, and got to thinking that those who don't have Twitter, or don't follow the same people, might enjoy these as much as I did when I saw them in my stream. Let us know in the comments if you might like some more like this at some point. In the meantime, for camp the plan is that there will be an embedded Twitter stream here at BTB for everyone to enjoy.