Cowboys still far from done after breaking camp

After 21 practices in 14 days at the Alamodome, the Dallas

Cowboys broke camp Friday.

They are still far from done.

The two-week stint inside that climate-controlled environment

was only the first segment of the NFL’s longest full-squad training

camp this summer. Their preseason opener is Sunday night in Canton,

Ohio, the first of two games in five days. Then there is another

two-week camp, that one outside in California.

”It breaks up the monotony of camp,” linebacker Bradie James

said. ”It’s better to break it up, go to a different camp, go to a

different site than to be here for four weeks. I’m looking forward

to that.”

The Cowboys left San Antonio after a 75-minute walkthrough. They

got one night at home before traveling for their preseason opener

against Terrell Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals that will be part

of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend that includes

Emmitt Smith.

”I’m going to enjoy going to Canton,” quarterback Tony Romo

said. ”Obviously the game is going to be super enjoyable to get

out there and play, but just going and looking at the history of

the game, checking it out and seeing the Hall of Fame.”

Romo, James, tight end Jason Witten and cornerback Terence

Newman are among numerous Cowboys who will be visiting the Hall of

Fame for the first time.

The Cowboys then get a few days at home with a light workload

before going to camp in Oxnard, Calif. – where the Friday afternoon

temperature in the mid-60s was about 40 degrees cooler than at the

Cowboys’ Valley Ranch practice facility.

Players will get a day off Monday before an open-to-the-public

workout at Cowboys Stadium on Tuesday night and a light practice

Wednesday. They play a preseason game against Oakland at home

Thursday night before heading West.

”The break is unbelievable,” owner Jerry Jones said. ”You

will have a lot of your starters that have a four- or five-day

break. They don’t get much time off in camp. They’re basically

going to be resting until we get to the Thursday game.”

In Oxnard, the Cowboys are scheduled to practice 17 times in 12

days. There is a weekend with a preseason game at San Diego and

then a day off in the middle of their West Coast stay.

”Going out to California and going outdoors from being indoors,

the weather and stuff should be really good,” Phillips said. ”I

think it will work out fine.”

Eight trucks were loaded Friday with equipment such as weights,

blocking dummies and practice gear that had been used at the

Alamodome and has to moved to California. It will all be set up and

ready when the players arrive on the West Coast.

”It’s hard on (support personnel),” Phillips said. ”But it

works out that they have almost a week to move from here to

California because we don’t really have to have anything in

Dallas.”

In all, the Cowboys will travel more than 6,500 miles over a

five-week stretch before getting home to stay after the fourth of

their five preseason games, Aug. 28 at Houston.

Jones hopes all the travel is a good omen for the defending NFC

East champions, who go into this season with Super Bowl

expectations and knowing the championship game will be played in

their stadium.

”Any time we had inordinate travel, like Tokyo or London, we’ve

won the Super Bowl,” Jones said, recalling the 1992 and 1993

championship seasons which began with preseason games overseas.

”We get the same miles in coming back and forth between Canton and

California.”