Needless to say 90% of what has transpired over the past 24 hours revolves around training camp. It has been a long time coming, but now here is what you need to know to get up to speed on the Cowboys first day in California.
As a rule I try not to use the posts from our own site in the news links, but in this case I am making one of Mr. Ryle's posts the lead because it sets the tone for everything else. It also sums up what the Cowboys are going to have to accomplish early on if they want to return to the form of 2014. Tom mentions what Jason Garrett will no doubt use to motivate his troops through the opening weeks of the season.
Embrace the hate. The Cowboys, as many teams do, play better when there is something of a chip on their shoulder. The difficulties of suspensions and the questions about the defense may serve to unify the team.
If they can do that, there is a pretty good chance we will have to put off writing about the draft for a few weeks beyond week 17.
Long before word began to creep out about suspensions for various players who ran afoul of Roger Goodell and the league there were concerns about the Dallas Cowboys defensive unit. The losses on that side of the ball only served to compound the challenge facing Rod Marinelli this season. Church has been there before; he knows what the defense must do to fill the void. It will be up to the players themselves to accomplish what must take place.
One of the suspended players keeps taking steps toward making himself more trouble than he is worth. I hate to be judgmental, but Rolando McClain is pushing every button he can with Jason Garrett. At this point he has until 2 pm on Friday to report to camp or he will face being fined for his failure to arrive. The linebacker has already drawn the ire of his coach by being a no show for voluntary activities, and he will be available to the squad for no more than six games this season at best. You have to wonder just how much benefit the team will have if they keep him around for another season.
The Cowboys wayward middle linebacker was not the only notable Cowboy not on the team's flight when it landed at Point Magu Naval Air Station, but the other missing players were not points of concern. DMN's Jon Machota tells us why fans should not be concerned about those absences.
Bryant and Scandrick arrived early. Romo was scheduled to fly in Thursday night.
Another guy there was some question about was Ron Leary, given his noted preference for a trade to a team where he could start. He's in Oxnard and ready to practice. The Cowboys are not inclined to deal the reserve guard, even with their needs on the defensive line.
The Cowboys view Leary as a valuable asset to their talented offensive line and are comfortable with him on their 53-man roster to start the season. They feel he will push second-year left guard La'el Collins in training camp and at the very least provide the club with an insurance policy if a starter were to get injured before the season. The Cowboys are willing to listen to offers for Leary but would have to be blown away by a deal to trade him away.
Five years ago rookie Cole Beasley left camp unexpectedly and had to be talked into returning to football. This time around the veteran receiver was the one who spoke to the media on behalf of the offense once the Cowboys disembarked from the plane. Cole has matured as a player and perhaps also as a leader on the team. NBCDFW gives us a video clip of what Bease had to say.
Over at the Mothership, the staff takes its final question of 20 questions as training camp is about to begin. David Hleman, Bryan Broaddus, Rob Phillips and Nick Eatman give their thoughts.
Nick Eatman: Yes, they're going to win the NFC East. Romo is going to be healthy, Dez is going to be dynamic again and Ezekiel Elliott will make the offense even tougher than before. While the defense might have its issues early, this offense will again be one of the NFL's best. For that reason I think the Cowboys win 10 games and that should win the division. What happens next is anyone's guess.
The Cowboys, as they do every year, took the time to say thank you to the men and women stationed at Point Magu ans to sign autographs for the families. NBCDFW gives us a look at the moment.