FRISCO - It sounds, looks and feels ... like football.
Friday here inside The Star in Frisco, the Dallas Cowboys used a hot Texas morning to commence with on-field work at their "stay-at-home'' training camp at team headquarters.
"I think like everybody - players, coaches, support staff - is really looking forward to Friday for our first full practice," new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said leading up to a day that featured some changes in some of this sounds and looks and feels ... and a first look at the planned starting lineup.
To wit, here's how Dallas lined up on Day 1 on the field:
DE Aldon Smith
DT Tyrone Crawford
DT Gerald McCoy
DE Tank Lawrence
LB Leighton Vander Esch
LB Jaylon Smith
CB Anthony Brown
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
S Xavier Woods
CB Chidobe Awuzie
SLOT CB Jourdan Lewis
QB Dak Prescott
RB Ezekiel Elliott
TE Blake Jarwin
WR Amari Cooper
WR Michael Gallup
WR CeeDee Lamb
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LT Tyron Smith
LG Connor Williams
C Joe Looney
RG Zack Martin
RT Wyatt Miller
Obviously, in a sea of change - that aforementioned "readiness'' comes as the Cowboys and the rest of the NFL (and the rest of us) fight through the COVID-19 crisis - these names aren't all set in stone.
On defense, Dontari Poe remains on PUP. And Daryl Worley and Trevon Diggs were in the mix at cornerback. On offense, La'el Collins sat out, and Connor McGovern also got some work at left guard.
The Cowboys feel secure in what they've done for players and staff inside the building, and owner Jerry Jones feels confident that the franchise can do some good during these troubling days.
"The Dallas Cowboys plan on playing all of our football games and we plan on playing them in front of our fans. ... I think it's important,'' Jones said. I think it's important individually. I think it's important for the country. The NFL can be an inspirational part of how we address COVID, not only this year but how we go into 2021."
Cowboys players reported for COVID testing two weeks ago, and have since continued health checkups as well as doing meeting-room and weight-room work. They've also taken it upon themselves to "bubble'' themselves into the Omni Hotel, adjacent to The Star.
This process is still about "ramping up,'' of course. Today was about a morning workout in "shells.'' (Helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.) McCarthy said the "strength and conditioning phase has gone very well,'' and as the NFL is allowing padded practices as early as Monday, Aug. 17, that will likely mark the next step forward.
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This is Day 1 in the sense of being on field, and in terms of "feeling like football,'' it marks Day 1 of a long march toward what the Cowboys hope is success.
“We want to win a championship,'' said Clinton-Dix when asked specifically about the free-agent migration to Dallas. "That’s why we’re here. We’re ready to win a championship.”
(Cowboys photo credits to DallasCowboys.com)