Familiar faces will be missing and the excuses will be gone as the Dallas Cowboys convene in California for another training camp.
FOX4’s Mike Doocy, who will be on the ground in Oxnard, Calif. for #FOXNARD coverage, said he understands why fans are tired of waiting for next year and that the Cowboys must make a playoff run. Dallas finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs in 2017.
One bit of good news -- Zeke Elliott’s suspension drama is over and he avoided any offseason headlines. But key players like Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are no longer on the roster.
Jason Garrett is confident new leaders will step up.
“Certainly will be different without Jason and Dez Bryant and other guys that have been here for a long time. But, you know, we have a lot of other leaders and some of the guys who step into those leadership roles learn from a guy like Witten and are embracing the opportunity. Sean Lee, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, certainly Dak Prescott, those guys are excited about their opportunities to take a stronger grasp of the mantle of leadership on the team,” Garrett said.
Doocy said one of the story lines entering the season is the pressure on Jason Garrett. This is his eighth full season coming up as Cowboys head coach. The franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1996 and he's not the only coach who failed to have success in the postseason. But Doocy said Garrett has to make a playoff run this year or he could likely be fired.
The Cowboys offense is another thing Doocy is watching. The receiving corps got an overhaul and is filled with names fans don’t know. The tight ends on the roster collectively have nine career catches, a very inexperienced group.
That said, Doocy believes fans should still keep their standards high.
“Always seems to be something and this year they'll say it is a young football team, and it is, but I think they have reason to have high expectations,” Doocy said while previewing the camp during Tuesday’s GoodDay. “They have a good young quarterback and the running back is healthy and we'll assume will be eligible for 16 games.”
The Cowboys fly from Dallas to Oxnard on Tuesday, with the opening news conference on Wednesday. The first practice is Thursday.