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Dallas Cowboys Voluntary Workouts Begin Tomorrow

NFL football doesn't officially kick off for another few months, but most teams are starting their voluntary offseason programs tomorrow as they start preparations for the 2016 season.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 NFL season officially gets under way for the Cowboys tomorrow with the start of voluntary off-season workouts,

The Cowboys weren't very active in free agency, only bringing in defensive linemen Cedric Thornton and Benson Mayowa, running back Alfred Morris, and guard Joey Looney, but that doesn't mean there won't be any new faces in the locker room tomorrow.

The Cowboys currently have 70 players on their roster, 35 of which weren't on the roster when the Cowboys kicked off their offseason program last year. 10 players joined the Cowboys as drafted or undrafted rookies, 25 joined the Cowboys as free agents since September last year.

All players, new and old alike, will see an unusually stable coaching staff - not just by Cowboys standards. While there has been some shuffling of titles and coaching positions internally, safeties coach Greg Jackson is the only new face on the 2016 coaching staff.

As a coach, Jackson spent eight years in college football before joining the 49ers in 2011. He was the assistant secondary coach for four years in San Francisco, where five defensive backs earned Pro Bowl honors and the defense led the NFL in 2011 and 2014 with 23 interceptions. In 2012, it was the NFC's top passing defense and fourth in the NFL.

Jackson followed Jim Harbaugh to Michigan as the defensive backs coach in 2015. At Michigan, Jackson coached a secondary that allowed only 158.5 passing yards per game, the third best value in the FBS last year, and led the nation in defensive passing efficiency.

Here's the 2016 coaching staff.

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Scott Linehan
Offensive Coordinator
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Coordinator
Rich Bisaccia
Special Teams Coordinator
Gary Brown
Running Backs
Joe Baker
Keith O'Quinn
Assistant Special Teams
Derek Dooley
Wide Receivers
Greg Jackson
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
Mike Pope
Tight Ends
Matt Eberflus
Passing Game Coordinator/ Linebackers
Brett Bech
Asst. Strength and Conditioning
Wade Wilson
Ben Bloom
Defensive Ends
Kendall Smith
Asst. Strength and Conditioning
Frank Pollack
Offensive Line
Leon Lett
Defensive Tackles
Steve Loney
Senior Offensive Assistant
Turner West
Defensive Assistant
Marc Colombo
Assistant Offensive Line
Kyle Valero
Assistant Wide Receivers


As for the voluntary workouts commencing tomorow, the CBA has specific rules governing what can and can't be done:

The Cowboys will get a 10-week window for their nine-week offseason programs. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and they are limited to weekdays. These initial practices are entirely voluntary, with mandatory minicamps not starting until June. There will be three phases to the workouts, all spelled out in the CBA.

Phase one will cover the first two weeks, with players limited to strength and conditioning or injury rehab. This phase will only allow full-time or part-time strength and conditioning coaches that have no other coaching responsibilities onto the field. No footballs can be used, except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers - provided they are not covered by any other player. The players cannot wear helmets during phase one.

Phase two covers the next three weeks of the offseason workout program. All coaches are allowed onto the field and on-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. However, there can be no live contact or team offense versus team defense drills, and players cannot wear helmets during this phase either.

Phase three covers the next four weeks of the workout program, which can include up to ten days of organized team activities. This provides a chance for more instruction and helmets, but players cannot wear any pads, including shells.


Here are the key offseason dates for the Cowboys between now and the start of the season:

April 18: Start of offseason workout program
April 28-30: NFL Draft
Rookie Minicamp (Probably weekend of May 13-15)
Three OTA sessions (veterans and rookies): May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-8
June 14-16: Mandatory Minicamp
July 28: Training camp opens
Saturday, August 13 (8 p.m. EST): at San Diego
Friday, August 19 (8 p.m. EST): vs Miami at AT&T Stadium
Thursday, August 25 (10 p.m. EST): at Seattle
Thursday, September 1 (8 p.m. EST): vs. Houston at AT&T Stadium


And Cowboys players are getting ready to participate.

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