HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! …
To every soldier who helped AMERICA along her road to independence, those who kept this country ‘the land of the free’, and the men and women who continue to protect our safety and freedom today. THANK YOU ALL!!!
To all loyal AMERICANS here in the UNITED STATES and all across the world.
To the Dallas Cowboys and those who proudly support the one and only AMERICA’S TEAM.
Now let’s move on to the nitty gritty of our beloved Dallas Cowboys…
With a lofty 5 preseason games overflowing his teams’ texas-sized plate, it seems Jerry Jones has foolishly chosen flash over fulfillment for his 2013 preseason agenda.
However unlike the recent past, first glance falsely indicates a poor decision to bounce the Dallas Cowboys across the country and run them ragged before the rival New York Giants arrive in Dallas for the Week 1 showdown.
While the NFL sets the exhibition schedule, matchups do not follow a rotating or set formula. Teams are allowed to negotiate individual games as long as they do not violate certain specific policies set forth by the NFL.
A few examples of exhibition restrictions are…no games between teams in the same division, and no games between the same teams will occur more than once in the preseason.
Typically Mr. Jones’ over-extension of his players has been a prominent trait of his preseason travelling circus. However, a closer look shows a bit of master scheduling by the sly, old fox.
2013 COWBOYS’PRESEASON TRAVEL SCHEDULE
***Camp starts on Saturday July 20 with the opening day press conference***
July 18: Team travels to Oxnard, CA (1,498 Miles)
(15 days no travel)
August 3: Oxnard, CA to Canton, OH (2,443 Miles)
(1 day no travel)
August 5: Canton, OH to Oxnard, CA (2,443 Miles)
(2 days no travel)
August 8: Oxnard, CA to Oakland, CA (355 Miles)
(1 day no travel)
August 10: Oakland, CA to Oxnard, CA (355 Miles)
(5 days no travel)
August 16: Oxnard, CA to Phoenix, AZ (434 Miles)
(1 day no travel)
August 18: Phoenix, AZ to Dallas, TX (1,063 Miles)
(21 days no travel)
SEPT 8: OPENING GAME VS. NEW YORK GIANTS
OPENING MONTH A TRAVEL TORNADO
From July 18 to August 18 there’s nothing pretty about being a Dallas Cowboys’ coach or player, except if you’re a hoarder of frequent flyer miles.
Since there are 2 weeks of camp practices before the grueling part of travel gets humming, we’ll go ahead and narrow the travel window further down to August 3 – 18.
During these 16 days (8/3 – 8/18), the team will…
- Travel to 5 cities (Oxnard, Canton, Oakland, Phoenix, Dallas)
- Make 2 round-trip jaunts from Oxnard, CA (Canton, Oakland)
- Travel a total of 7,093 miles (8,591 miles if extended to start of camp)
- Play 3 straight road games
Jerry Jones will have his marketing machine turned up to max velocity. The Cowboys open with the first game (Hall of Fame) of the 2013 preseason which draws peak national exposure.
Next they travel across California to Oakland which spreads the Cowboys logo from one end of the state to the other, 355 miles apart. The road games conveniently end in Arizona, a well-known, out-of-state hotbed for Dallas Cowboys fans.
Mr. Jones gets to effectively promote his logo and product on a national level to keep merchandise, etc. sales at a maximum level…the main master is happy.
So how could this agonizing month (July 18 – August 18) possibly benefit the coaches and players? For one, the starting players will certainly get extra rest to avoid injury with the abnormal strain of high travel being placed on their mind and body.
Which means the back-ups and rookies will get an extensive look to show their value and EARN their keep. All a player ever asks for is a legitimate shot to win a position on the field. The majority of these guys will get their chance.
Also, the elevated amount of rest and rotation should allow coaches to make well-informed personnel decisions through gathering quality film on each player in question. Not to mention it helps solve the many camp battles through a “best man wins” mentality.
EXTENDED CALM AFTER THE STORM
There is certainly a beaming light at the end of the grueling, dark tunnel for players and coaches. Countless prayers for relief will go unanswered until finally the blessing arrives with 21 travel-free days before lining up against the Giants on opening night.
Any NFL player will instantly agree an extended absence of travel is a huge advantage. 204 miles may not sound like much to us Texans, yet it still involves hours of travel, hotels, schedules, etc.
That’s exactly what the Giants will be forced into on August 28 and 29. A 3+ hour bus ride (each way) to and from Foxboro, MA. Even travelling by plane would produce the same time constraints with airport procedures the way they are.
All the while, the Cowboys will continue to be free from the extra strains of travel, and rest their minds and bodies peacefully at home. Once the Giants return home, they’ll have a mere week to recover before it’s back to suitcases and off scaling 1,549 miles to Dallas for opening night.
Once it’s all said and done, Jerry Jones gets to extensively showcase his Cowboys logo across the country and open up the full weight of his massive marketing machine.
Players and coaches will have to test their mettle and skills in a 4-week hell phase. Yet their reward will be 21 days of home cooking before squaring off with the Giants who are fresh off an away game the week prior.
The first month of training camp reminds me of a quote from Remember the Titans…
I have never cut a player who made it through camp. If you survive camp, you will be on the team. IF YOU SURVIVE! — Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington)
The preseason schedule, while tough and trying in the beginning, should serve the team well in all areas if it doesn’t cause extra risk of injury. And that’s a big “IF” around these parts.
If anything, Dallas has shown this offseason that they are not afraid one ounce to rest players and side firmly with the caution approach. I fully expect that to continue, likely throughout camp, but certainly for the intensely demanding 4 week intro.