School’s out for summer. Or for 40 days, anyway.
The Cowboys coaching staff has concluded 2021 OTAs and minicamp, even scratching the final day of practice on Thursday in favor of a “team-bonding activity,” according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Players are now free to disperse and will reconvene for training camp, which is likely to be held once again in Oxnard, California starting on or around July 20.
The Cowboys held six OTAs and two minicamp practices, well below the ten OTAs and three minicamp sessions allowed under the NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement. Head coach Mike McCarthy was pleased enough with the team’s progress that he “reprogrammed” Thursday’s practice- what would have been the team’s third- into “a group dynamic event” that was closed to media.
“We took accountability for not hitting the target virtually last year as a coaching staff,” McCarthy said on Wednesday.
“I spent most of my time comparing this year’s offseason program to prior offseason programs when you have a full slate. We’re doing a much better job,” he continued. “Our learning environment is clearly, and it had to be- there’s no choice- much better than it was this time last year. I think it’s clearly reflected on what we’re getting done on the field.”
Unlike several teams who have had numerous players skipping voluntary OTAs as per NFLPA recommendations, the Cowboys’ sessions saw nearly full attendance. Only punter Hunter Niswander sat out, as he is dealing with a family medical concern regarding his pregnant wife.
Now everyone on the team has over five weeks off before training camp. Expect to see social media posts from beaches and boats, as well as a slew of personal workout videos while the players get in some rest and relaxation- and maybe a few workout reps on their own- as they prepare for the long grind of the 2021 season.
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