Cowboys in Cali: Jones Says Rams on Board Despite LA Return

The Rams and Cowboys have reunited in Southern California, and there's nothing to suggest it won't stay that way.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones wants to keep visiting the West Coast for training camp despite the Rams' reclaiming of the Los Angeles market and his team's new facility in Texas that will soon have everything the Cowboys need to hold camp at home.

The billionaire businessman is also confident the Rams won't have a problem with the Cowboys staying. Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn says the Cowboys want another contract beyond next year.

Dallas started training in the LA area in 1963, long before the Rams moved to St. Louis. They moved back this offseason.

"We've got a great legacy of a preseason with our training camp," Jones told The Associated Press last week. "We have such a good feeling about Los Angeles as an NFL city. Just love to be a part of the team's preseason preparation for a long time to come. Hope to."

Jones was cast as one of the power brokers who helped tip the vote in Rams owner Stan Kroenke's attempt to leave St. Louis. LA Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff said that's one of several reasons the franchises can work well together.

"I think Stan and the entire organization takes great comfort that the Cowboys are happy to promote their brand, but would never do anything at the expense of our brand," Demoff told the AP.

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"Knowing that, it's much easier to facilitate how you work together than it would be under any other circumstances."

When the Cowboys return from Oxnard next week, they will report to Frisco, about 30 miles north of Dallas. They will have an indoor practice field for the first time since 2009, when a severe storm destroyed the one at the Valley Ranch facility that's now closing in Irving.

The indoor field is also a 12,000-seat stadium that the Frisco high schools will use for games. One of the two practice fields will have an artificial surface, and a sports medicine facility will eventually be part of the site.

For Jones, though, there's no substitute for temperatures almost always in the 70s.

And he still talks about the California days of coach Tom Landry and general manager Tex Schramm, even though Jones interrupted the 27-year run and started holding camp in Austin, San Antonio and Wichita Falls in the 1990s and 2000s.

"I really felt a proprietary feeling when we were talking about Los Angeles and what we were going to do as a league," Jones said. "It very much enhances, in my mind, the enthusiasm, the awareness and the positive things -- the Cowboys training here in Southern California."

Demoff suggested there will have to be another conversation about co-existing camps if another team moves to LA, a stipulation that was left open when owners voted to move the Rams. San Diego and Oakland were the teams given the option if those franchises couldn't reach agreements with their cities.

The Cowboys previously trained in the LA area when two teams -- the Raiders and Rams -- were in the market in the 1980s. The site was Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, the temporary headquarters of the relocated Rams until they build a new facility at an undetermined site.

"They have a long history of being here," Demoff said of the Cowboys. "They helped promote the NFL in Los Angeles when there was no team here and helped fill a gap in the market, which I think we're certainly grateful for. And I think there are lots of ways in which we can work together."

The biggest potential obstacle for Dallas is the availability of the city-owned fields they use next to a hotel complex where players and staff stay.

A housing developer bought from the city a large plot of land that was used for parking and concessions, making for a tighter squeeze between one of the fields and a golf course that had one of its tee boxes and a large part of a fairway fenced off for the three-week camp.

The city is considering selling the fields as well, which would jeopardize the future of the Cowboys in Oxnard. Flynn voted for the city to keep the land it already sold and feels the same way about the fields.

"We really want them to come back," Flynn said. "It's just great attention for the city."

NOTES: QB Tony Romo took a day off at practice Tuesday, giving him consecutive days off after three straight days of work. ... Defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford (back), Cedric Thornton (virus) and Terrell McClain (toe) were expected to restock a depleted practice group Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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