The greater Los Angeles area has not had a professional NFL team call it home since the Rams and Raiders moved so long ago. But did you know that once a year we have had a professional NFL call the Los Angeles area home for three weeks during training camp and to kick off the NFL season.
America’s team has been calling Southern California home off and on since 2001. But when the Rams and Raiders left Southern California in 2004, the Cowboys became the closest way to see professional football up close outside of taking the three hour car ride down to San Diego to see the Chargers.
The Dallas Cowboys have held their training camp at the River Ridge Sports Complex in Oxnard, California off and on since 2001 the years off 2004-2006, 2008, 2010, 2011.
The Cowboys training camp offers an amazing experience, especially for local fans starved for access to the NFL experience without having to shell out cash for luxury boxes or parking.
Although preseason games may not feature the big names for the most part, the practices here gave fans a chance to see stars such as quarterback Tony Romo, running back Felix Jones and highly skilled LSU cover man Morris Claiborne whom the team moved up in the draft to obtain.
Other fun at the training camp includes the Kids Zone area and live performances by team mascot, Rowdy. The Cowboys’ on Tour trucks, team merchandise and Hall of Fame trailers were at the site throughout camp. Live radio remotes and Internet broadcasts featuring players and coaches will also be featured.
The Cowboys and City of Oxnard, has also partnered for a youth football skills camp. Dozens of youngsters pre-selected from local Salvation Army programs and Boys and Girls Clubs were able to receive personal, professional instruction from former NFL players and coaches, including DeChon Burns of the Washington Redskins, Chris Hayes of the Green Bay Packers and Brian Russell of the Houston Texans. Children of local military families and Oxnard public safety officials were also invited to join the fun.
But for media, it is all about work and showing up bright and early to obtain our credentials we had a little hick up as camp security stopped us before getting to media check in and in the process we got our own escort to building 16 and public relations and if that was not enough we ran into a little more trouble at check in as they could not find our credentials on the computer. But, after a quick triple check and show an email that was sent from the computer system the Cowboys public relations department uses for automatic credentialing. We finally, got our credentials and made our way over to the field where the team where already hard at work going though walk thru.
Media access was nothing short of extraordinary with reporters allowed to set up on the field. When the team had finished their walk through, they lined up to sign autographs for volunteers as a way of thanking them for their hard work. Fans are not allowed to attend the walk through.
Members of the media were allowed to interview any member of the team, with the exception of head coach Jason Garrett, who had scheduled a press conference following the walk through.
The public was welcomed to the training camp at 2:30pm for the actual practice when the team would be in full pads. This was the last practice that would happen at the Oxnard facility before they traveled by train to San Diego where they would practiced prior to their preseason game with the San Diego Chargers which they lost 28-20 in an exciting game at Qualcomm stadium.
The Cowboys are headed back to Dallas in preparation to host another team that was formerly based in Los Angeles, the St. Louis Rams, on August 23.
The FNLA team stopped Felix Jones, Morris Claiborne and other players that you will able to see during our video report from training camp.