There are a few important dates worth pointing out as they pertain to the Dallas Cowboys over the next few months.
- July 30: 6:45 PM ET. First practice of training camp
- September 1: 4 PM ET deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 75 players.
- September 5: 4 PM ET deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 53 players.
- September 6: Players released the day prior can be claimed on waivers until 12 PM ET. Once Noon hits, those players are free agents and practice squads can start being formed.
- September 6: 4 PM ET deadline for players to be placed on Reserve/Injured as "Designated for Return."
- October 16: After week 7 and before week 12, players on PUP can start practicing with the team, but have to be activated within 21 days of returning to practice.
- November 3: The NFL's trade deadline expires at 4 PM ET.
- January 3: 17th Week of Regular Season Games. The Dallas Cowboys win their division in convincing fashion.
Here's a look at large parts of the official NFL calendar and its officious wording:
|July 30||First practice of Cowboys training camp.|
|August 11||If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2015, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2016 League Year.|
|August 13||1st preseason game: Dallas @ San Diego|
|August 23||2nd preseason game: Cowboys @ San Francisco|
|August 29||3rd preseason game: Vikings @ Cowboys|
|September 1||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List.|
|September 3||Final preseason game: Texans @ Cowboys|
|September 5||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.|
|September 5||Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.|
|September 6||Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, New York time.|
|September 6||Starting at 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a Practice Squad of 10 players.|
|September 6||After 4:00 p.m., New York time, a club is permitted to place a player on Reserve/Injured as "Designated for Return."|
|September 10||At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.|
|September 13||Regular Season opens with Giants @ Cowboys|
|September 28||20,000 days since the Philadelphia Eagles last won a title.|
|October 16||Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week 6 game.|
|November 3||All trading ends for 2015 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.|
|November 4||Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.|
|November 17||At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive offer sheets.|
|November 17||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive offer sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.|
|November 17||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Unrestricted Free Agents to whom the "May 12 Tender" was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.|
|November 17||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the "June 1 Tender" was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.|
|November 17||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.|
|January 3||17th Week of Regular Season Games. The Dallas Cowboys win their division in convincing fashion.|
|January 4||Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.|
|January 4||Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for First- Round Selections from the 2013 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 4, 2016, but prior to May 3, 2016.|
|January 9-10||Cowboys enjoy their playoff bye.|
|January 10||Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.|
|January 16-17||Divisional Playoffs.|
|January 17||Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.|
|January 18||Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be transmitted to clubs on January 22.|
|January 23||East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.|
|January 24||AFC and NFC Championship Games.|
|January 30||Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.|
|January 31||NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii.|
|January 31||An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.|
|February 7||Super Bowl 50, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California.|
|February 22||First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.|
|February 23-29||Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.|
|March 7||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.|
|March 12-15||Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15.|
|March 15||The 2016 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.|
|March 15||The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15.|
|March 15||Trading period for 2016 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts.|
|March 20-23||Annual League Meeting, Boca Raton, Florida.|
|April 4||Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2015 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.|
|April 18||Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.|
|April 22||Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.|
|April 27||Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.|
|April 28-30||NFL Draft.|
For future reference, you can find the full and regularly updated NFL calendar with these and other dates in the Library section here on BTB: