This is the first full Dallas Cowboys training camp under coach Jason Garrett, who finally had an entire offseason to prepare his team for the year ahead. After two weeks of camp, it's clear that Garrett truly put his team through its paces, with the final two practices featuring a burned out and exhausted football team and the final practice of camp coming in shells and shorts instead of full pads. It was the first practice without pads in over two weeks.
On a day when even a shells-only walkthrough emphasized just how run down this team was, Jason Garrett gave the Cowboys a much-needed break when he declared that practice would be over, but only if ace kicker Dan Bailey could nail a short field goal. Against all odds, Bailey split the 27-yard field goal and practice was called an hour early.
Bailey split the uprights with a 27-yard boot, and the entire team exploded in celebration; indeed, it was the most energy I had seen from them since their return from Oakland. They quickly gathered for the second group talk of the day, and then suddenly ran off the field en masse, ending a full hour earlier than at any other point in the past fortnight.
The Dallas Cowboys play the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night, with the team fighting to work through several injuries to key starters and backups, while preparing for a tough opening night game against the New York Giants. Saturday's game in San Diego kicks off at 7:00 p.m. CT.
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