FRISCO - It was supposed to be a simple and likely enjoyable visit to Southern California for new Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy: His first-ever visit to Oxnard, to occur in mid-March, in order to "see the operation'' scheduled to be put in place on July 21 when we're told the team is to arrive there for its annual NFL training camp.
But sources told CowboysSI.com then that the McCarthy travel plan had been dumped due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And during Saturday's post-NFL Draft "virtual'' press conference with the DFW media, McCarthy issued another suggestion.
"We've done some heavy planning on, first, if we're able to go to Oxnard,'' he said. "And if we're not able to go to Oxnard, what's it going to look like if it's in Frisco?"
In other words: What if the NFL works to plow on with some level of "business as usual'' while also facing some coronavirus restrictions on travel and crowds?
The original plan, as McCarthy himself detailed at the recent NFL Scouting Combine?
“I’m actually going to Oxnard here in a couple weeks. I’ll spend a day there,” McCarthy said. "Just to walk the property. We’re going to meet out there just so I can see it, to see the operation and how it flows.”
What he was to find - hopefully, eventually - is a sea-side town that the Cowboys have long found ideal for the purpose of everything from practice (in perfect weather) to marketing (as SoCal remains in many ways, as it has been for decades, "Cowboys Country.'') The hotel and adjoining campus is large enough but yet private enough. And while other cities have put in bids to the Jones family to steal away summer camp, the Cowboys have stayed committed to Oxnard since 2012.
As far as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is concerned, there will be football.
But that doesn't mean we're all ready to return to normalcy.
Cowboys camp is so often a circus, in many of the best ways. Here's hoping when McCarthy (and the rest of Cowboys Nation) finally does travel to Oxnard, it'll be the same.
Or ... here's hoping we're all safe with a semi-quarantined Cowboys training camp right here in Frisco.