Cowboys end off-season looking ahead to training camp

06/19/2014 5:40 PM

06/19/2014 11:37 PM

The Dallas Cowboys celebrated the end of their off-season program with a short practice and a family day at AT&T Stadium.

School’s out for summer!

The Cowboys go on vacation the next 41/2weeks, arriving at Oxnard, Calif., on July 22 for the start of training camp.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll be out of sight, out of mind. The rookies continue structured workouts for another week, and all players can work out on their own at Valley Ranch through July 11.

“It’s time that we all need to get away and get recharged mentally, physically, emotionally, so you want to take advantage of that,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You want to embrace every day away. But for all of us, we’re really locked into this. We care a great deal about it.

“We’re all very much invested in it. So you’re always thinking about it. You consciously try to get away from it, but it’s always on your mind, and it’s always kind of in your person, trying to somehow, someway do it better, make it better, be better yourself, be better for your team. …You’re always fighting that balance.”

The Cowboys lost middle linebacker Sean Lee to a torn left anterior cruciate ligament on the first day of organized team activities, but otherwise, it was a successful off-season, Garrett said.

“We had a really good practice to finish a really good minicamp to finish a really good off-season program,” he said. “We have the right kind of guys on our football team. They work the right way. They’re coming together.

“We have a long, long way to go. We all know that. We’ve made great strides here over the course of the off-season. I like how our team works. Now, it’s time for them to get away from it and come back recharged and ready to go and get ready for training camp.”

Orton fined

Agent David Dunn was at Valley Ranch on Wednesday, but one of his clients, Kyle Orton, still was missing from practice.

The backup quarterback missed all three days of the mandatory minicamp, drawing $69,455 in fines.

The Cowboys have no plans to release Orton, who would have to repay $3.4 million in signing bonus money if he retires.

“We anticipate him being at training camp,” said Garrett, who also is represented by Dunn. “Communication is a big part of that situation, trying to understand why he wasn’t here and taking the necessary steps. … We have to do what we need to do as an organization in penalizing him the necessary amounts of fines and those kinds of things. We also just want to understand and communicate and try to figure out how this situation is going to play out and what’s best for the Dallas Cowboys and for Kyle Orton.”

The Cowboys can fine Orton $30,000 each day he misses training camp. He already has lost $75,000 for missing too many workouts, part of a de-escalator in his contract.

Dunn would not comment about Orton.

Obstacle course

Rookie punter Cody Mandell hit the center-hung HD board three times during Thursday’s practice. But Garrett said the board was lower than its usual 90 feet after being lowered for the George Strait concert.

 

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