News: ESPND: What to watch: Cowboys OTAs

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, May 21, 2013.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    May 21
    AM CT
    By Calvin Watkins |

    The Dallas Cowboys are one of several NFL teams beginning organized team activities this week. The OTAs, as they're called, are non-contact, three-days-a-week practices over the next three weeks. These practices are not in pads nor are they mandatory. Some players will attend some of the OTAs, if not all of them.

    Here's a primer:

    Who will be there? There's an expectation that the entire team will attend at least the first day of OTAs. However, some players might not anticipate due to their recovery from injury. Quarterback Tony Romo is out three weeks after undergoing minor surgery on his back to remove a cyst and won't participate. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware (shoulder and elbow) might be limited in some fashion for the OTAs, while Sean Lee (toe), Jay Ratliff (sports hernia) and Orlando Scandrick (hand) will be full participants. Rookies who are still finishing up with school are not allowed to participate. Safety Matt Johnson was in this situation last year.

    What are the rules? Players can wear helmets and other equipment, but no shoulder pads. Teams can have 11-on-11 drills, special teams and 7-on-7 drills. Players can practice for up to two hours. If a player gets hurt and is released, the team will reach an injury settlement. In some cases, depending on the player, the team will guarantee his base salary.

    Media access: The OTAs last three days, but the media is allowed to watch practice and talk with the players and coach Jason Garrett on Tuesday only.

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