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FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – The Dallas Cowboys begin Phase One of voluntary off-season workouts today at The Star in Frisco, a two-week program that is limited by NFL rules to strength, conditioning and rehab.
“We’ve already had an amazing turnout for captains workouts,’’ Dez Bryant tells me. “Now we get to turn it up.’’
“Captains workouts’’ feature team leaders putting players through unofficial sessions. Today, the same sort of work is “Phase One’’ of the offseason program, which now includes official contact with the strength and conditioning coaches.
Phase Two lasts three weeks and involves the entire coaching staff but cannot include offense-vs.-defense work.
Phase Three begins on May 23 and features three weeks of OTAs, which lead up to June minicamp, which is mandatory.
For now, the Cowboys will work through rehab stuff for players like defensive linemen Tank Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, will eye hopefully the emergence of kids like 2016 draftees Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper, and will watch leaders emerge as change in the roster means no more Tony Romo, Doug Free, Barry Church and Brandon Carr.
Jason Witten, Sean Lee, Travis Frederick and Dan Bailey are official team captains and they’ve lead the workouts to this point. Unofficially, though, Bryant is joined by next-generation Cowboys like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Zack Martin and Byron Jones as leaders through these sessions — which are limited to four hours a day and 90-minute maximum on the field — and beyond.