THE BOYS ARE BACK: Dallas Cowboys arrive at Naval Base near Oxnard, California | 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp | Dallas Cowboys photo gallery
OXNARD, Calif. – At long last, the Dallas Cowboys arrived at Naval Base Ventura County (at Point Mugu) and began their quest into the 2014-2015 season.
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t played a game in almost seven months, but their offseason has seen no shortage of excitement. There was the swapping of Pro Bowl caliber players at the offset of free agency, the team’s consideration of Johnny Manziel before eventually selecting Zack Martin in the 2014 NFL Draft and the loss of Sean Lee to a torn ACL on the first day of Organized Team Activities.
None of that was able to sidetrack what was a highly-participated offseason program, and it certainly didn’t dampen any enthusiasm on the flight from Dallas to the West Coast.
“I can tell – there’s a certain energy on the plane. Guys are here and they’re ready to go. You can feel it,” Frederick said. “As you’re walking by, guys are talking about where they think we’re going and guys are ready to work, excited to show off what they’ve done and the hard work they’ve put in.”
The Dallas Cowboys arrived at Point Mugu, minutes away from their training camp headquarters at the River Ridge Residence Inn in Oxnard. Before departing to begin camp, the team met and signed autographs for military personnel and their families at the base.
“It’s so cool that they let us do this. Coming in here last year, I had no idea this is how it was going to work. They said something about landing on a military base, and I said ‘How does that work,’” Frederick said. “The opportunity that we get to come and land here, we’re just minutes away from the facility, which is really nice, instead of having to land at LAX or Burbank – one of those places where it’s going to take us a really long time to get out here.
“It’s not very easy to get to Oxnard from an airplane, so the opportunity they give us to do that – we’re very grateful for that. Going out and meeting and talking to those people, the stories that they have, it’s really an inspiration for us.”
The work begins in earnest, with physicals, press conferences and meetings slated to begin today (Wednesday), with the first practices of the season tomorrow (on Thursday). To hear it from Frederick, that workload is something the team is ready for and something it has embraced from the early stages of the offseason.
“It’s purely work – we’re out here to work, we’re out here to make our team better,” he said. “Our team has done a really good job of doing things in the offseason, and I can speak especially for the offensive line and tell you that our group has put in the work and we’re ready to go – and I know that we’ve seen that throughout the others.”
There won’t be any shortage of facets to work on. Oxnard will be the site for Tony Romo’s first true work of the offseason, as he limited himself during OTAs and minicamp. The same should go for Henry Melton, who was still rehabbing a torn ACL during the spring. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle will hope to spark a unit that not only finished last in the league last season, but lost playmakers and longtime veterans in DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher – not to mention Lee.
“Even though we lost a couple of great players, I feel like that just forced everybody else to step up and know that their role’s going to become a lot more important because of the people that we lost,” said Barry Church. “I feel like that’s making everybody study the playbook a lot more and knowing the defense front and back going into this season, and that should help us play a lot faster.”
Plenty of eyes will be on Church and the defense, as the need for defensive improvement has been one of the dominant storylines of the offseason. But as the Cowboys made their way to the autograph signing, one thing was abundantly clear – the offseason storylines of Valley Ranch are gone, and the Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 season has begun in Oxnard.
“The weather’s a lot better than it is back in Texas,” Church said. “I feel great. I feel like this is going to be a great camp for us.”
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DALLAS COWBOYS LOST LEGEND: Versatile fullback Robert Newhouse passes away | Dallas Cowboys 1972-1983; 1983-2008 | His sacrifices helped create “America’s Team”
OXNARD, Calif. – On the day the team reported to training camp with high hopes for the future, the Dallas Cowboys lost a key member of their history.
Former fullback Robert Newhouse, who played 12 years with the Dallas Cowboys and also worked for several years with the team, died last night (Tuesday) at the age of 64.
Newhouse passed away due to complications caused by heart disease. He died at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he had been since November.
Newhouse played from 1972-83, with various roles from the starting tailback before Tony Dorsett’s arrival, to mostly a blocking fullback. Even at the end of his career, the powerful do-it-all player was running down on special teams covering kicks.
Newhouse’s most memorable play occurred in Super Bowl XII when he connected on a 29-yard halfback pass to Golden Richards that sealed a 27-10 win over the Denver Broncos, giving the Dallas Cowboys their second Super Bowl title.
After his playing days were over, Newhouse continued to have a prominent role within the Dallas Cowboys organization. He was the director of alumni relations and player programs for several years before health issues took its toll on the former running back.
RELATED: Robert Newhouse was the definition of a team player
The introduction came quickly, or maybe it didn’t. Maybe it was just the shock. I looked up from my desk, standing up in the process, expecting to see a Greek God, or as some called him, the “Human Bowling Ball.”
This was Robert Newhouse, the man with bigger thighs than Earl Campbell, some 44 inches, a mind-blowing measurement. The man who blocked for Calvin Hill and Tony Dorsett, the man who scored the first touchdown in the history of Giants Stadium, the first running back to throw a touchdown in the Super Bowl. This was a football legend, one who played all of his 168 NFL games with the Dallas Cowboys from 1972-83. This was one of the men who sacrificed himself on the field, and in the process, created America’s Team, a nickname which was bestowed on the Dallas Cowboys in 1979.
This was going to be one of those handshakes that would leave my fingers numb for hours. And then I saw him, standing in the doorway of my office. This frail little man, just 62 years old at the time, yet he looked so much older. Almost as if he was fading away. And I guess, looking back, he was. He couldn’t have been more than 150 pounds, some 18 months removed from suffering a stroke.
Yesterday (Tuesday), after a lengthy battle with heart disease, Newhouse passed away at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., surrounded by his wife, Nancy, and four children. He was 64.
Newhouse is one of those rare people in life that everyone liked. After a record-setting collegiate career at Houston – his 1,757 rushing yards in 1971 is still a school mark – the Dallas Cowboys selected Newhouse in the second round, 35th overall, of the 1972 NFL Draft. Used primarily as a fullback, he played his entire 12-year career with Dallas, rushing for 4,784 yards, which ranks fifth in franchise history, and catching 120 passes. Newhouse also made history in Super Bowl XII with his pass against the Denver Broncos, across his body no less, running to his left, a 29-yard scoring strike to Golden Richards.
“When Tom (Landry) called the play, I said, “I can’t believe he called this play,” Newhouse said after the game. “I was nervous about throwing the ball. In practice, the ball had been wobbling, but Danny (White) told me to get my hip around it. I kept thinking about that when I got the ball.”
Making life more difficult for Newhouse was the fact he had recently doused his hands with Stickum, which was typical in this era before gloves were commonplace. However, when throwing the pigskin, the glue-like substance could prove most problematic for obvious reasons.
“I was shocked. I panicked,” Newhouse said. “I’ve never eaten so much stickum in my life. I started wiping it off my pants and started licking my fingers.”
After his playing career, Newhouse worked for the Dallas Cowboys until 2008, mostly as the team’s director of alumni relations. When Hall of Fame wide receiver Bob Hayes passed away in 2002, it was Newhouse who organized a group of players to travel to Jacksonville for the funeral. He was always making sure things like that were taken care of.
When Tony Dorsett joined the Cowboys as a rookie in 1977, it was Newhouse who served as a mentor, teaching him the playbook, the schemes and perhaps most importantly, how to deal with Tom Landry. That first season wasn’t an easy one for Dorsett, who wasn’t even starting after winning the Heisman Trophy the year before at Pitt.
“I am honestly not sure how that first season or even my career would have turned out without Robert. I think about that often,” Dorsett said, pausing on several occasions to fight his emotions. “Coach Landry’s system was so different from what I was accustomed to. Robert just told me to have patience, both as a running back in the system and in dealing with Coach Landry.
“I’m guessing a day didn’t go by that first season without me running to him, ‘Robert, Robert, Robert, what do I do?’ He’d just smile and say, ‘You’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out together.’”
Dorsett ended up cracking the starting lineup by season’s end and winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, rushing for 1,007 yards. Thing is, the previous two seasons, before Dorsett’s arrival, Newhouse rushed for 1,380 yards combined, easily tops on the team. There was never any animosity, though. Newhouse just wanted what was best for the Dallas Cowboys.
“In nearly 60 years of being around the NFL, Robert is one of the best people I’ve ever been around,” former Cowboys personnel director Gil Brandt said. “He did everything you asked.
“Let me tell you, don’t ever ask a tailback to become a fullback. That’s the cardinal sin of football right there. We would alternate Robert back and forth, and he never complained. Not once. Imagine going from being our leading rusher, almost 1,000 yards in 1975, and then being the lead blocker the next few seasons. Who does that? Robert did. He was the very definition of a team player. He loved his teammates so much.
“There was nothing in Robert’s makeup to dislike the guy. Nothing. There aren’t many like him in this world.”
Even though Newhouse’s health had been failing for several years now, and he had been in the Mayo Clinic since last November, his former teammates were holding out hope for a miracle. Dorsett spoke with his longtime backfield mate just a few weeks ago on the phone.
“His son, Rodd, called and handed me the phone,” Dorsett said. “He sounded so weak, so we didn’t talk much. I told him he was our big, strong man, and he was going to beat this. I told him I loved him.
“I knew he wasn’t doing well, I understood that, but he was 64. Man, that’s young, too young. Robert Newhouse was supposed to live a long time, grow old with us. I just never expected this. I’m so, so sorry for his family. He was such a wonderful man, a great father, a great husband.
“Robert was our peacemaker. If I ever heard him raise his voice, it wasn’t more than a few times. We were of the same mind on the field. We were always thinking each other’s thoughts. We could just look at each other and we understood. He was such a blessing to me, as a teammate and one of my great friends. Robert just wanted to care of everyone. He was that kind of guy.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways, I’m not sure sometimes why this sort of thing happens. I’m just not sure … but, you know, Robert’s home now. And he’s nice and healthy again. Maybe he’s playing some football. He’s Robert again.”
Courtesy: Jeff Sullivan | Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine
AROUND THE NFC EAST – DOWN THE HATCH: Washington Redskins will open 2014 training camp without Jason Hatcher | Former Dallas Cowboys DE sidelined
RICHMOND, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden says defensive end Jason Hatcher and three other players will be sidelined when training camp practice begins Thursday.
Gruden said today that Hatcher, defensive end Stephen Bowen and receiver Leonard Hankerson are still recovering from knee surgeries, while backup guard Maurice Hurt is out of shape.
Hatcher, acquired as a free agent from the Dallas Cowboys, had arthroscopic surgery last month. He is expected to return quicker than Bowen and Hankerson, who had more significant injuries.
The coach says quarterback Robert Griffin III’s physical condition is “not an issue” 18 months removed from major knee surgery. Says Gruden: “The key for him is to learn from his mistakes.”
Gruden is leading a camp for the first time. He says he’ll have “butterflies” making sure everything’s right.
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DALLAS COWBOYS TRAINING CAMP: ‘Boys unite for player-organized conditioning test | Players building team identity | Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015
OXNARD, CA – The camaraderie among many of the Dallas Cowboys players got a jumpstart this week (Monday) before the team ever traveled out to training camp.
THE BOYS ARE BACK: Wheels down in Oxnard | Dallas Cowboys rested and ready | Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 Training Camp
Upon wrapping up the team minicamp on June 19, which followed several weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), official Dallas Cowboys on-field action ceases for awhile, giving the players about five weeks off before they report for training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on July 22.
DEZ DUO IN BIG-D: Dallas Cowboys sign WR Dezmon Briscoe to 2014-2015 training camp roster; DT Chris Whaley waived
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys added another Dez to the receiving group, less than 24 hours before the team departs for training camp.
MEET YOUR NEW TIGHT END: Dallas Cowboys add TE Dallas Walker prior to Training Camp | Dallas Cowboys Roster 2014-2015
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys didn’t wait for training camp to make their next addition.
AROUND THE NFC EAST: Tracking The Evil Empire | The 2014-2015 division pre-training camp watch | Assessing the biggest issues facing the Dallas Cowboys rivals
IRVING, Texas – It’s a bit hard to believe, but football is here – the makings of football, at least.
MASTERMINDING A MARINELLI MIRACLE: Anticipating the Dallas Cowboys 55th NFL Training Camp | Overcoming historic 2013 defensive struggles | Defensive coordinator faced with restoring faith in America’s Team
IRVING, Texas – Defense … defense … defense.
That will be the Dallas Cowboys battle cry when they land Tuesday (July 22, 2014) at Naval Air Station Point Mugu in Southern California.
Defense … defense … defense.
MUDDLED IN THE MIDDLE: Dallas Cowboys scrambling to set linebacker unit without star anchor Sean Lee | 2014-2015 linebacker position outlook | Eleven LBs Remaining | Analysis
What’s the Deal?
QUARTERBACKUP SAGA ENDS: Kyle Orton released by the Dallas Cowboys | 2014-2015 quarterback position outlook | Four QBs Remaining | Analysis
IRVING, Texas – The standoff between Kyle Orton and the Dallas Cowboys is over. And from the looks of things, Orton is getting what he wanted all along.
The Dallas Cowboys officially cut the backup quarterback in a move that was made official today (Wednesday).
Orton did not participate in any of the Cowboys’ offseason practices or workouts, missing all of the OTAs and minicamp sessions. Although Orton has not made public comments this offseason, it has been believed he has hinted at retirement.
IRVING, Texas – The start of 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California is only days away.
The Cowboys announced the tentative schedule for their trip today …
BEHIND THE SCENES – GOING DEEP: Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and his father have a special bond | Special Feature
Technically speaking, the phone call to Jim Garrett was supposed to be about his son Jason’s head-coaching gig with the Dallas Cowboys. And, it was to some degree. Like any conversation with the elder Garrett, though, it was so much more. It was educational, insightful and ridiculously entertaining. It was the kind of discussion that you don’t want to end, to the point of making up the last few questions on the fly in the hopes of learning something else.
COWBOYS OFFSEASON OUTLOOK: Evaluating the offensive fits as 2014-2015 mini-camps conclude | Dallas Cowboys roster
IRVING, Texas – With the Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 offseason practices now finished, here’s a breakdown of what to look for at each offensive position moving forward.
It’s been a nice couple of practices for Terrance Mitchell missing the majority of practices due to his university being on the quarter system. Mitchell has normally been lining up on the right side at corner, but he took some snaps on the left side in the nickel.
In the 7-on-7 period, Jamar Newsome tried to run a crossing route on him out of man coverage and Mitchell played it perfectly. He was able to avoid the pick of Tim Benford, who started his route right at him. Mitchell never lost sight of where Newsome was going and once they both arrived in the middle of the field, Mitchell was in ideal position to knock the ball away. It was the type of play that a rookie corner normally does not make because he gets distracted by the receiver trying to rub him out.
Safety Ahmad Dixon is a very aggressive player in the way he attacks the ball. He is one of those players that would rather be in the pile than standing around watching his teammates. Where Dixon is going to have to improve is when you tackle in this league or play in coverage, the angle you take to the ball is almost more important than making the play itself.
Dixon is doing a nice job of seeing these routes develop like he did during the 7-on-7 period against Devin Street. On the play, Street came out of the left slot inside and stopped right in the middle of the field. Dixon was not fooled on the play, but if he would have taken a more direct angle instead of rounding it off, he might have had a chance on the play. It is a correctable mistake but one that he needs to take care of as he learns how to play coverage in this league.
Even before the draft, I admired the play of Davon Coleman out of Arizona State and the flexibility that he brings to a defensive scheme. The first thing that a linemen is taught is that if you cannot get to the quarterback, find ways to get your hands up quickly.
Coleman has really done a nice job, no matter where he has played, of attacking the blocker and becoming a disruptive player. He’s been playing as the three-technique and working on a rush against Ronald Leary. Coleman was able to get to the outside of Leary quickly, but on the way up the field, he was able to read that Caleb Hanie was in the middle of a three step drop and shot his hands in the air. As the ball left Hanie’s hand, it deflected off Coleman and was knocked off target for Devin Street on the slant.
The ball fluttered toward Terrance Mitchell who was in coverage on Street. The result of the play was a pick-six for the defense as a result of a heads up play by a young defensive linemen trying to win a spot on a 53 man roster.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Pro Football Analyst/Professional Scout
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys managed to get all nine draft picks signed a month before leaving for training camp.
BIG D BRINGS BIG DOLLARS: Dallas Cowboys, the NFL’s two billion dollar ‘boys | Texas now has a billion-dollar MLB team | Former Microsoft CEO buys Clippers
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday (Thursday) that the Los Angeles Clippers will be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling had stated in a cover letter Tuesday responding to NBA charges that he had “received offers in excess of $2.5 billion” to purchase the team, which would have set a new record in U.S. pro sports.
The reported winning bid for the Clippers is a bit less than the Dallas Cowboys were valued at by Forbes in 2013. The business magazine appraised America’s Team’s value at $2.3 billion in 2013, up $200 million from the previous year, when it became the first American sports franchise to be worth more than $2 billion.
$2.3 billion Forbes appraisal keeps Dallas Cowboys ranked No. 1 among NFL teams
OXNARD, Calif. — Fresh off the announcement that the Dallas Cowboys will build a new headquarters and practice facility in Frisco with the expectation it will open in 2016, Forbes announced that America’s Team is the NFL’s most valuable.
AROUND THE LEAGUE: Retired NFL Players Congress gathering in Dallas area for 2014 summit | Roger Staubach to give keynote address
From around the country, retired NFL players of varying ages and fame will congregate in Arlington (Dallas/Ft. Worth suburb) today (Friday) and Saturday in hopes that their collective voice will be heard.
SHAKEUP AT VALLEY RANCH: Sean Lee’s injury leaves every LB spot in question | DeVonte Holloman is currently the best option at MLB | Dallas Cowboys roster 2014
IRVING, Texas – One practice into Organized Team Activities (OTAs), and the perceived weakness of the defense shifts entirely from one position group to another.