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Cowboys in Hot Water Over Contact Between Ryan, Players

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Cowboys in Hot Water Over Contact Between Ryan, Players

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The Dallas Cowboys have been named as one of several teams that will be fined by the league for violations of the NFL’s so-called “dead period,” in which players are prohibited from meeting with coaches, the result of players meeting with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan prior to the lockout going into effect.

Indeed, the infraction is wholly unrelated to the labor situation, although one would imagine that, had a lockout not been rapidly approaching when Ryan was hired, players would not have been so urgent in meeting with him.

The “dead period” is defined as the period between the final game of the season and the beginning of the new league year, and is styled so that players have a period of mandated down time from the game. In their efforts to learn the new defense, Cowboys’ players (and Ryan) violated this mandate. Other thought to be guilty of this offense are Miami, Cleveland and San Francisco.

The NFL has released the following statement concerning the fines, per the Dallas Morning News:

"There have been rules in place for years that govern what is permissible prior to the start of the off-season program. ... Before the offseason program begins, players are permitted to use the Club's facilities on a voluntary basis subject to the following rules:

(I) such players may not receive per diem payments or workout bonuses of any kind and may not be paid or reimbursed expenses for travel, board or lodging during this period;

(II) such players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practices or meetings of any kind;

(III) the Club's strength and conditioning coaches may not direct such players' individual workouts, but may supervise use of the weight room to prevent injury, correct misuse of equipment, etc.;

(IV) such players may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period.''

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