The Dallas Cowboys begin their trek into training camp beginning on July 30th and the camp will be once again held in Oxnard, California. Like many past training camps, California has been the start of the Cowboys march to the Super Bowl.
Tom Landry’s Cowboys held camp in Thousand Oaks at California Lutheran College from 1963-1989. Prior to that, the Cowboys held their training camps in Northern Michigan College in Marquette, Michigan in 1962. In 1961, the Cowboys were again up north but at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. The first Cowboys camp was held in a little town in Oregon called Forest Grove at Pacific University. And a small thank you to knowyourdallascowboys.com for the information.
In 1990, the Cowboys started practicing in Texas. Austin was the first stop as they held practices at St. Edwards University, which wasn’t too far from Tom Landry’s college of attendance, the University of Texas. Austin was a great place to have training camp as the Cowboys won several Super Bowls from that time period. The Cowboys eventually moved to Wichita Falls in 1997, which held less distractions for the ‘boys but also wasn’t the best spot as the team suffered through some rough seasons. Wichita Falls was very excited at first to have the team there, but attendance to practices began faltering and interest in keeping the training camp site there waned as well.
The Cowboys did spend some time in San Antonio as well, which holds many fond memories for my family as we made it a point to attend the first day of training camp. We have done that every year for the camp was held in San Antonio, making it a family affair to look forward to. In 2001, they did split time in San Antonio and its current spot in California.
From 2002 to 2003, then again in 2007 the Cowboys called the Alamodome home for training camp. The 2004-2006 seasons, Oxnard held the Cowboys camp but had scheduling conflicts so the ‘boys went back to San Antonio in ’07 for another 5 years. The Cowboys did have to return to Oxnard full time in 2008 because the Alamodome was not available at the time; they resumed practice in 2009 until 2011.
The Cowboys will once again grace the West Coast, for how long it is not certain. As we have learned about the Jerry Jones era, it is not as stable or consistent as the Tex Schramm-Tom Landry era.
I do long for those days of the Cowboys once again having training camp in Texas, it provided a family adventure for me and my family. Perhaps one day, it will be back until then…California is the place to be.