Organized team activities begin Tuesday for the Dallas Cowboys, and many other teams for that matter, and head coach Jason Garrett wants to ensure his team gets the most out of these next three weeks.
“Everyone's excited to get started and do football, but you have to practice smart,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “One of the things we talk to our players about all the time is, given the new collective bargaining agreement, you don't have that many full-padded practices. The teams that learn how to practice in helmets and jerseys really are the teams that are the best teams in this league because this is how we practice many more times than not.
“So we have to do a great job teaching tempo and convincing our players about the type of tempo we want to practice with. There's a sense of urgency. There's a pace for these types of events.”
The beginning of OTAs marks the beginning of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, which is the closest to actual football the team has come since the offseason program began over a month ago.
“This is the start of it,” said tight end Jason Witten. “We’ve had a good offseason of workouts so far, but there’s nothing like going to the field and taking those practice reps and getting better. I think that’s the best thing we did last year. We eliminated all the noise and worked our tails off.”