Rejoice just a little bit, Dallas Cowboys fans. The NFL released the offseason workout schedules that include OTAs and required minicamps. These will be the first glimpses of the 2016 edition of the Cowboys working out together in preparation for erasing all lingering nightmares of the 2015 season. Of course we have to go through the draft first, perhaps THE highlight of the NFL offseason, but after that, we look forward to the OTAs and minicamps.
The Cowboys scheduled activities.
First Day: April 18
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-8
Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16
As a reminder, the Collective Bargaining Agreement governs all of these activities and is broken down into three phases.
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a "separates" basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or "OTAs". No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.
In addition, there are rookie-only activities. They are governed by the following rule.
Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2016 may begin on May 9. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft. The dates of the post-draft rookie minicamps will be circulated at a later date.