Cowboys’ notes: Jerry wants training camp to remain in Oxnard

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Just hours afters announcing plans for a new $115 million team headquarters in Frisco, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones returned to Oxnard and made it clear that he wants to continue going to training camp in California for years to come.

The Cowboys’ deal with Oxnard ends in 2014, but Jones said the team is already working on a contract extension with city officials.

“I think the positives that are here, and really you guys experienced this, this isn’t light to me coming out here to Southern California. Like, we’re trying to experiment over here,” Jones said Tuesday. “We’ve been doing this for how many years now? 30-something, 35 years if you really count Thousand Oaks. This is what we ought to be doing. And we’re working right now on trying to extend it.”

The Cowboys are obligated to spend at least two weeks in Oxnard next year. San Antonio has also expressed interest in hosting camp next year and beyond.

There is a chance the Cowboys could split camp between the two cities. There has also been talk of the Cowboys having at least one week of camp at the new facility in Frisco when it’s completed in 2016.

Jones is open to having split camps but indicated he would need five preseason games to achieve it, like the Cowboys have this season because of the Hall of Fame game. Most years there are only four preseason games.

Jones wants to return to Oxnard and it’s cool temperatures.

“Now we needed five games to do it, to really have it be as comfortable as this year,” Jones said. “We need to start a week earlier to get it all in. But we can get it in. You’ve got to travel anyway to make these preseason games. You’ve got to put your bags together, picking it up, staying real organized in camp and players and everybody else. And we have to travel around during the season, so it’s part of getting ready.”

Garrett’s timetable

It’s a long way until 2016, so the excitement among current members of the team and staff about the moving of the Cowboys’ practice facility from Irving to Frisco is tempered by the reality they may not be here then.

Still, there was some excitement at training camp regarding the new $115 million project announced Tuesday. It includes a $25 million for a practice facility and a 12,000-seat indoor stadium.

“I think it’s exciting,” coach Jason Garrett said. “From what I gather, not being directly involved in those discussions, it’s a great deal for the Cowboys, a great deal for Frisco. The facility is going to be state of the art. Everybody in our organization is really excited about it.”

The Cowboys’ practice facility in Irving opened in 1985 when Tom Landry was still the coach and Danny White was the quarterback. It is now one of the oldest and most outdated in the league, with several teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks, having opened facilities in the past seven years.

Garrett thinks the new state of the art facility, like Cowboys Stadium, could help in recruiting free agents.

“I think it probably depends on the free agent,” Garrett said. “Certainly, at the college level, they seem to be in some kind of competitive situation with sizes of weight rooms and all that kind of stuff. I think that’s probably less the case in the NFL. I do think having good facilities are important.

“We talk about being your best, demanding everybody to be your best, and you want to create an environment where they can be their best. You want to have up to date, state-of-the-art-type facilities where everybody can function at the highest level.”

Jones big picture

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the most exciting thing to him about the new headquartersis the impact it will have on Texas high school football.

The Cowboys will share the new facility with the Frisco Independent School District, which will play games there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. High school playoff games could be held there, and Jones said the facility will complement and enhance what the Cowboys are already doing with high school football at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“We’re really going to have an opportunity to have high school football and we really got excited about it, about what we could do in Arlington with our football stadium,” Jones said. “This will be a joint in what we’re stepping up and doing in high school football in Arlington, and this will complement what we’re doing. Obviously, we feel good about building a stadium and building a state of the art place for the Cowboys. But the biggest thing is for the youth to go and having those kids who are (teenagers) out there practicing and seeing us.”

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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