Cowboys leave Oxnard, but will return next year

The Sports Xchange
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--The Cowboys ended training camp in Oxnard, Calif., last Friday but that will not be the end of training camp. They will practice against the Chargers for two days on Monday and Tuesday after the preseason game against the Chargers. They will then return to Dallas and resume camp at their Valley Ranch training complex. The Cowboys gave Oxnard high marks for its facilities and weather and will return there next year for camp.

"We really like everything about it," coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously the weather is something everybody talks about. That's a good thing because it allows you to get more work in and the players are more focused on what you're asking them to do instead of the Gatorade or water behind them. We've all practiced in those really hot Texas days where it's not really competing against each other. It's 'Where's the trainer? Where's the water? Give me a cold towel.' All that stuff. This gets you away from that mindset and lets you go to work. We've got a lot of football plays run every single day out here."

--Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he is looking forward to the two days of practices with the Chargers. He is said it won't be like playing a game but he expects it to be intense and competitive.

"We did it last year prior to our game with them and you'd prefer to do it before you play them, but because we played Monday (in Oakland) and play Saturday, it was just hard to get to San Diego and pull that off," Garrett said. "We didn't want to lose the opportunity. It's a great opportunity to not hit your own guys, play against another team. I think the competition level increases when you play guys on the other side."

--Tight end Jason Witten is out for the rest of the preseason with a lacerated spleen and could miss the season opener. Witten will have his mind focused on being ready for the Sept. 5 opener against the Giants. But with the Cowboys having 11 days until the second game against the Seahawks it makes sense to be cautious. The biggest issue is that there is nothing Witten can do to rehab the injury. He must sit still and do nothing and let it heal on its own so he can avoid surgery.

Witten, who has played with a fractured rib, fractured jaw and ran without his helmet, acknowledges that he is really lucky as the injury could have been a lot worse. "Absolutely," Witten responded when asked if he dodged a bullet. "It could have been a lot worse. I'm fortunate it is minimal damage as it can be right now. I'm thankful it happened now in the preseason rather than later in the season and have to miss games. It's a challenge. But rest is the only answer."

Surgery has not been ruled out, it has just been tabled as the doctors want Witten to rest for 10 days and see if the spleen will heal on its own.

"We are not there yet," Witten said regarding possible surgery. "It's one day at a time. We are monitoring it one day at a time. The plan is to rest and allow it to heal the best it can to stay away from that situation."

He remains in a lot of pain and admits it hurts just to get out of bed.

"Right now I'm doing alright," Witten said. "I'm just going to take it a day at a time. Obviously, I'd be hard-pressed to imagine not being out there against the Giants. But there's no timetable right now. I'm going to be positive and think that can be achieved. That process will handle itself. We are going to be smart. At the same time, I'm going to prepare myself mentally that way."

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I don't even contemplate what a legacy means. A legacy has a certain finality to it. I don't even contemplate that without having some more Super Bowls for the Cowboys while I'm making the decisions, because I just know that the job is not finished until we get a Super Bowl or Super Bowls." -- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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