The Cowboys were back on the practice field at The Star in Frisco this week with the team's head coach believing things are going to be very different in 2021 compared to his disastrous first season in Dallas.
One reason Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy believes his 2021 team will be much improved from last season's disappointing year is Dallas's ability to have offseason practices and workouts.
After COVID-19 shut down just about everything in the NFL offseason one year ago, McCarthy was unable to hold traditional offseason workouts as he was trying to introduce his program as a new head coach.
"I don't even like to talk about last year because I think it's a terrible comparable and one I'm not using," McCarthy said. "When I look at our offseason program that we're in currently, I compare it to my past experiences when you have a full offseason program. I have confidence when we conclude next week we'll be pretty close to hitting the targets that you've been able to hit in the past."
Get DFW local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC DFW newsletters.
One player, for example, who seems ready to benefit from the extra offseason workouts this year is second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
The receiver had a pretty good campaign as a rookie despite no offseason minicamps and playing most of his rookie season without quarterback Dak Prescott.
"I feel like the jump is definitely there," Lamb said. "I'm excited about the future, can't wait until the season, but definitely OTAs have been a big plus for me in my opinion."
The center of the Dallas Cowboys universe.
While the Cowboys look to bounce back, they're grateful to have the opportunity to work together in an offseason that feels much different than a year ago.