In 1989 Jimmy Johnson famously banished an out-of-shape kicker to the “asthma field.” A couple years ago Felix Jones – a running back – infamously huffed and puffed and failed, helping lead to his eventual exit from the team. And last year Jay Ratliff couldn’t pass, and wound up never playing a down in the regular season before being cut.
The root of the evil? The dreaded pre-training camp conditioning test. And this year’s event takes place today at Valley Ranch.
It sounds like a relatively simple task for professional athletes paid handsomely to be in elite condition, but every year it seems a player fails. The players have to run 20 sprints of either 40, 50 or 60 yards and of varying time frames depending on their position group. For example, skill players must run the 60 in eight seconds and linemen 40 yards in six seconds.
There are seven-second breaks between sprints, and a three-minute break after 10 sprints.
I’m just a dorky sportswriter who just turned 50, but I’m confident I could pass the test right now today. Guaranteed, however, that a handful of Cowboys won’t, and will be placed on the embarrassing Physically Unable to Perform List heading to Oxnard on Tuesday.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.