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Cowboys’ 2,500-mile trip from California to Hawaii a logistical maze – Dallas Cowboys Blog



OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys have played preseason games in Pendleton, Oregon; Roanoke, Virginia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Canton, Ohio. They have also played in international locales such as London, Mexico City, Monterrey, Mexico, Tokyo and Toronto.

On Saturday they will play their first preseason game in Hawaii when they take on the Los Angeles Rams (10 p.m. ET, NFL Network) at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium.

It will be the 36th neutral-site preseason game in the Cowboys’ history, and the first NFL preseason game at the stadium since 1976 when the San Francisco 49ers played the San Diego Chargers.

“I’ve never been to Hawaii before, so I’m excited to get over there with the guys, do a little team bonding,” said Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, who played a game in Ireland while he was at Notre Dame. “But then it’s preseason game No. 2 against the Rams.”

Dallas wide receiver Michael Gallup was at Colorado State when he played at Aloha Stadium, and he recommends players try the fresh pineapple. But fruit aside, the Cowboys want this to be a business trip.

“We’re not going to be there very long, so we’re really just there to play. Yeah, it’s an important trip for us,” safety Jeff Heath said. “We’re getting closer to the regular season and you only get so many opportunities to play in these games before it gets real.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett looks forward to the 2,500-mile trip from Oxnard to Honolulu.

“Hawaii is a magical place. There is a great football tradition there. A lot of great players have come from there,” Garrett said. “One of our great players years ago, Mark Tuinei, is from Hawaii and so many others. There is a real tradition of individual guys. The Pro Bowl being over there for so many years, the Hula Bowl was there for so many years. I think it’s something we’re really excited about doing. It’s a little bit different leaving training camp to go to Hawaii to play a game than going back to Dallas. We get all that. But once you get around the logistical part, it’s going to be fun to go over there and play a football game and hopefully grow as a team in a great environment.”

A lot of work goes into the move

Speaking of logistics, the real work began after Wednesday’s practice.

Long after the players were done with their final padded practice in Oxnard, the team’s equipment staff was busy packing trucks with gear — blocking sleds, tackling dummies and anything else associated with the team’s 21-day stay.

The planning for the staging of camp and the eventual breakdown started in May and culminated Thursday with seven 53-foot trailers making the trek back to Texas.

“They’ll leave about 3 o’clock [Thursday] and be in Dallas Friday night,” equipment manager Bucky Buchanan said of the trucks.

What made this packing job a little different is that a portion of the gear had to be packed for the plane ride to Hawaii.

“It’s a regular road trip for us,” Buchanan said. “Everybody thinks we’re going to be out of the country but we’re not. It’s just we’re going to be there one extra day than normal during the season. Once everybody got that mindset right, everything’s been falling into place.”

When the Cowboys and Rams ironed out the details about a preseason game in Honolulu, owners Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke discussed the possibility of practicing together for two days while on the island but the logistics never worked out.

Beyond the game

Since becoming the Cowboys’ head coach, Garrett has used several road tips as learning experiences for his team. In 2014, the Cowboys had a dinner at the Tower of London before playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Cowboys made a trip to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City in 2015. Last season, the Cowboys visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.

This trip will be no different. Following the Cowboys’ walk-through on Friday, they are scheduled to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

“That will be cool,” running back Alfred Morris said. “Seen the movies and studied the history. That will be good.”

Once the Cowboys landed in Hawaii, the equipment crew headed to Aloha Stadium to set up the locker room with jerseys hanging in lockers and pads at the ready. Because the Cowboys will hold their walk-through at the team’s hotel, the equipment guys will get a little respite.

Immediately following Saturday’s game, the Cowboys will fly back to Dallas and the equipment staff will be in action again, making sure the 18,000 pounds of gear gets to the plane. Not long after landing, the Cowboys’ equipment crew will head to The Star. Interns will have taken care of the trucks that brought back the gear from Oxnard and have that in place by Sunday. When equipment director Mike McCord, Buchanan and the rest arrive, the focus will be on unpacking from the Rams game.

“Hopefully we’ll be done by noontime Monday,” Buchanan said.

On Tuesday, the Cowboys will have their first training camp practice at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Everything will be in order, despite the work it took to get everything home.

“Those guys work their ass off,” Heath said. “They’re probably some of the hardest workers here. We don’t make their job very easy. We try our best to pick up, but it always seems like the locker room will be a mess and the next day it’s perfect. We’re very thankful for those guys.”

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Kyle Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen benefit from joint workouts



They went to California trying to prepare for the season, as they did last year. Now, like the rest of America, these young NFL quarterbacks are just trying to get through each day.

The glamorous lives of the New York JetsSam Darnold, the Washington RedskinsKyle Allen and the Buffalo BillsJosh Allen include workouts that end around 1 p.m., followed by card games, video games and watching movies.

And lots of yawns.

“It’s pretty boring, I’ll be honest with you,” Kyle Allen told reporters on a conference call. “We play a ton of Gin, Call of Duty, and we get super bored. That’s about it.”

Allen said the group got together Feb. 1 in Orange County to prepare for the season with workouts, including weight training and throwing passes on the beach. They did this last year as well.

Kyle Allen told that he is living with Josh Allen — with both of their girlfriends — and Darnold lives about 15 minutes away. All three quarterbacks are training with former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer.

The three quarterbacks lift together in a friend’s 40-square-foot garage. Allen said they make sure to practice social distancing as much as possible.

“Not much has changed. It’s just been a little harder to find a place to throw or find a place to work out,” Kyle Allen said. “We’re getting good work in and trying to adapt to all of this, like everyone else is.”

The Allen combination might have to move in with Darnold, as their lease expires this week. They did not plan to stay longer than April, as teams — in a normal year — would have resumed workouts by then. Kyle Allen told that he doesn’t want to return home to Arizona because one of his mother’s coworkers tested positive for COVID-19, and his mother is now in the midst of a 14-day quarantine.

However, Allen said the quarterbacks can benefit from this time together, though of course, they didn’t need a quarantine for that to happen.

“That’s why we like to train with each other,” Allen said on the conference call. “We talk to each other about our experiences. We have film nights at our houses and are breaking down film and talking through different things. We’re having really good conversations.”

Kyle Allen learned of his trade to Washington from Carolina while holed up in California — and about a week after, he briefly returned to Carolina to sign a one-year extension. For Allen, the trade means a reunion with coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner. Allen started 12 games for the Panthers last season.

He gives the Redskins another young quarterback to pair with second-year player Dwayne Haskins, whom Rivera said would enter camp as the starter. The two quarterbacks have exchanged texts since the trade.

Allen said that after talking to Rivera, the “expectation is to come in and compete for the job. That’s an awesome opportunity.”

Allen gives the Redskins a safety net from someone who knows the offense. Haskins must learn Turner’s system without the benefit of a regular offseason. Allen said it took him a good month and a half to learn the offense in Carolina to the point that he felt comfortable running it in practice.

“The continuity with the system is huge for me, and I think it’s going to be big for the team, too,” Allen said. “If we don’t have a lot of OTAs or don’t have OTAs at all, it gives at least someone on the team a chance with experience in the system to be able to teach it to the other guys.”

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Browns sign veteran DE Adrian Clayborn to 2-year deal



The Cleveland Browns have signed veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn to a two-year deal, his agency announced Tuesday.

Clayborn, 31, who played in 15 games with the Atlanta Falcons last year, will be entering his 10th season in the NFL.

The Browns have been on the hunt for an experienced pass rusher to help flank All-Pro Myles Garrett along their defensive line.

Clayborn is a former first-round draft pick who spent his first four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has 36.5 career sacks.

Clayborn rejoined the Falcons for a second stint last season after playing with the New England Patriots in 2018. He worked primarily as a situational pass-rusher and finished last season with four sacks and two forced fumbles while starting just one game.

Regarded as a popular locker room presence, Clayborn recorded a career-best 9.5 sacks with the Falcons in 2017. That same season, he revealed that he seriously considered retirement, but his wife talked him out of it.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure contributed to this report.

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Bryan Bulaga disappointed by how many players didn’t vote on CBA



New Los Angeles Chargers tackle Bryan Bulaga voiced his disappointment Tuesday over how many fellow players decided not to vote on the new labor agreement with the NFL.

The collective bargaining agreement was approved by only a 60-vote margin (1,019 to 959) with nearly 22% of the eligible players electing not to cast a ballot.

“I’m very confused why so many guys didn’t vote. It was a big deal,” Bulaga said during a conference call to discuss his signing with Los Angeles. He did not say how he voted.

“The CBA isn’t something we’re voting on for ourselves. It’s a big decision, and to see so many guys not vote is disheartening.”

Bulaga said he liked to stay current with the progress of talks because of his friendship with Cleveland Browns center and new NFL Players Association president JC Tretter. Bulaga and Tretter were teammates in Green Bay from 2013 to 2018.

While the new CBA increases the percentage of revenues given to players and upgrades pensions, it will allow the NFL to add a regular-season game, though not before the 2021 season. Many prominent players loudly opposed the deal, including Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The new CBA is set to begin with the upcoming season and goes through 2030. Free-agent safety Eric Reid is challenging the CBA’s validity due to language added following its ratification on March 15.

“Regardless of how it went, it probably would have been encouraging if more guys voted. It’s interesting and unfortunate,” said Bulaga, who will be going into his 11th NFL season. “Guys are able to do what they want.”

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