News: JJT: Fans Can't get Enough of Cowboys

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by BrownSugar, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. BrownSugar

    BrownSugar One Classy Lady

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    First impressions: Fans can't get enough of Cowboys

    10:46 PM CDT on Saturday, July 31, 2004

    By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News

    OXNARD, Calif. – It may have been the first practice of training camp Saturday morning, but the fans were clearly in midseason form.

    Maybe it's because the Los Angeles area hasn't had a professional football team to call its own in a decade.

    So they didn't appear to mind bumper-to-bumper traffic as the makeshift parking lots slowly filled up. Or the long lines to meet and greet a few cheerleaders. Or a lengthy wait to buy some Cowboys gear.

    A raucous throng of about 4,500 – 10 deep in some spots – watched Eddie George practice in a Cowboys uniform for the first time.

    "Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die!" they cheered as George trotted on the field for the first time.

    "It felt a little weird putting on a helmet with a star on the side of it and putting on a uniform without the Titans blue," George said. "But I've embraced this situation. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm trying to win a championship."

    Quarterbacks Quincy Carter and Vinny Testaverde also received loud ovations from the fans as they ran out on the field for the first time.

    Once practice began, the crowd became even more fervent.

    They cheered when Keyshawn Johnson beat Pete Hunter for a touchdown on a slant, during one-on-one drills. And when Cedric James made a juggling one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone.

    And when Terence Newman made a spectacular, leaping interception on a pass intended for Terry Glenn.

    After practice, most players signed autographs.

    Aveion Cason signed footballs of varying sizes, shapes and colors along with helmets, baseball caps and pennants for more than 30 minutes.

    "It's like we're still in Dallas," he said.

    Carter also signed autographs for about 30 minutes before addressing the media.

    "This atmosphere is great," he said. "I was out at 6:15 a.m. this morning, and I saw a little kid with his mom and dad waiting for practice to start.

    "There will be some dog days of summer before this training camp is over, and fans like that will help us get through them."

    The players and coaches were often as intense as the fans.

    Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer barked at his players throughout the morning practice, using four-letter words more than occasionally to make his point. Receivers coach Todd Haley criticized rookie Terence Cooper for running an outstanding route but dropping an apparent touchdown pass in the end zone.

    And when Carter scrambled into the end zone after defensive end Eric Ogbogu pulled up during a goal-line drill, defensive tackle Greg Ellis snatched the ball.

    "No touchdown," he said. "You would've been sacked."

    Coach Bill Parcells said he was pleased with his Cowboys' first practice.

    "This was a typical first practice," he said. "There was a little uncertainty here and there. I thought they were pretty eager."

    Parcells said the weather in Oxnard, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, makes it ideal for training camp because the players can focus on football instead of the climate.

    "The great thing about this place is that the players are not trying to survive here, they're just not trying to get through practice. They can pay attention," Parcells said. "The environment allows them to pay attention, so it's a much better learning situation.

    "I would rather have that early in camp than be in the blistering heat we have in Texas. Now, I know at some point and time we have to do that, but it will be a lot better to do that after all your knowledge base is in, after you know the system, you know your assignments. When you have the ability to concentrate in an environment, it's a lot better to learn in."

    E-mail jjtaylor@**************
  2. Madzo

    Madzo The Gunshow

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    yea I was there and lots of support from the fans. I remember Antonio dropping an easy pass and the crowd let him know about it.
  3. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    Appreciate the read BS.

  4. followthestar

    followthestar Well-Known Member

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    bill didn't leave much doubt about his preferences. i would imagine that statement alone should keep the cowboys practising in CA for many more years. what a great learning process our entire organization is going thru, having parcells here... kinda makes me all warm and fuzzy all over...

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