NFL players and coaches have been prohibited from having any contact with each other whatsoever for a little over a month now, since talks broke down in the hours leading up to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, leading the NFLPA to decertify and, finally, the NFL to impose a lockout.
But on Sunday night, these rules were relaxed, allowing Cowboys players and coaches to attend the seventh annual Taste of the NFL: Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party, a charity event at the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine--this thanks to a loophole in the rules, allowing for exceptions in lockout protocol to be made in cases of long-running charity events.
We’d imagine the conversations between players and coaches were marked by awkwardness--like a former couple, struggling to make small talk, sort of--but apparently that wasn’t the case.
"Not awkward at all,” said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. “We're all here for this event. The way the rules have worked, we're allowed to be here together. Everyone is focused on being here, having a good time and supporting this event.”
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware, the host and one of a number of Cowboys at the event, told reporters that he’s been working out in Southlake during the lockout, and has picked up Pilates, in order to increase his flexibility. Ware continued that he was motivated by the fact that, really, no one knows when the lockout will end.
"I'm ready to play," Ware said. "Everybody is going to be ready because you never know when (the lockout is going to end). It's going to come, and then it's going to be time to play."
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