The Dallas Cowboys traded in their pads for baseball bats for a good cause Tuesday in Frisco, with OTAs (organized team activities) and mini-camp right around the corner.
The Cowboys took part in a home run derby at Dr Pepper Ballpark for charity. From what I saw, safety J.J. Wilcox and cornerback Brandon Carr can rake. So can head coach Jason Garrett. The swings helped raise $50,000 for The Salvation Army.
Of course, with this being on a baseball field, you did hear plenty of chatter about the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays brawl on Sunday and second baseman Rougned Odor's punch. But there was also a little football talk mixed in.
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The Cowboys are coming off a 4-12 season full of injuries and disappointments, so they are ready to get back out on the football field and go.
"The offseason has been good," said Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. "We're just excited to go to work. The season can't get here fast enough."
The Cowboys expect to have quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant healthy once the games count. They also have possibly the best offensive line in the NFL, a line that includes center Travis Frederick, guard Zack Martin and tackle Tyron Smith.
"For us, there's no pressure because everything that we do is to live up to our standard in our room," said Frederick. "So everything that we do is geared to making sure that we are the best individually that we possibly can be and collectively as a group being the best we can be."
"We pride ourselves in coming out here and working and getting better," added Martin. "I think the reason we have some success as a group is because we hold each other to a very high standard and that's going to continue."
On the defensive side of the ball, Carr doesn't feel like his work is finished with the Cowboys, so he took a pay cut to stay. Carr will likely become a free agent in 2017.
"I feel great," said Carr. "I'm back with my teammates for another year, back in the community. Those two things are what matter most to me. You kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at the same time you got to stay focused on the main goal and that's with these guys. So I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm trying to get to that Super Bowl at the end of the year."
So it was all fun and smiles Tuesday night in Frisco. But soon it will be back to business for the Cowboys.