They lined up more than two hours before the Dallas Cowboys took the practice field, many wearing replica jerseys of their favorite past and present players.
More than 4,000 fans took in the two-hour evening session on the third day of Cowboys training camp July 31 at River Ridge Field. In its fourth and final year, the unlikely partnership between the Cowboys and Oxnard is unique because it represents the only NFL team training camp in California to offer free and unlimited admission to each practice.
The Cowboys moved camp to Oxnard before the 2003 season in order to escape Texas heat that would sometimes interfere with training schedules. The high temperature July 31 in Oxnard was a breezy 74 degrees, according to www.weather.com.
Just 10 minutes before the evening session began, Terrell Owens was the second-to-last player to emerge from the locker room. Walking onto the field alone , he jogged past onlookers who chanted “T.O ! , T.O !”
In his first one-on-one drill of the day, the 6-foot-3 Owens appeared to be jammed at the line of scrimmage before throwing 5-foot-10 cornerback Lenny Williams to the ground and scoring on a bomb from quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Parcells lived up to his reputation as a strict authoritarian, once shouting at a sideline crew member who held up a third-down marker when it was second down, “one, two, three, four, can you count that high?”
The Cowboys hold camp through Aug. 20. The Cowboys open the season Sept. 10 at Jacksonville.