The Norman Transcript

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August 20, 2013

Cowboys return home after training camp

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have made it back to real life and the heat.

After a month on the West Coast for training camp and three exhibition games, the Cowboys were finally home Monday when they practiced at their Valley Ranch facility.

“We have been in that environment out there by ourselves, away from our families. And you get used to that, you get used to being focused only on football. And that’s a good thing,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Now you come back to real life and you have to stay focused on football.”

And readjust to the warm temperatures in North Texas.

There is no marine layer lingering over the Valley Ranch practice fields as so often is the case in Oxnard, Calif.

The forecast highs at home this week are in the mid- to upper-90s, about 25 to 30 degrees warmer than in Oxnard, where the team had camp. The Cowboys have morning practices through Wednesday, avoiding the hottest part of the day.

“It ain’t changing, so make it work,” Garrett said.

“It’s always great to be home,” receiver Dez Bryant said. “I think the approach we came with (Monday) morning was outstanding. There was no sluggish feeling.”

Second-year running back Lance Dunbar was at Valley Ranch with a protective boot on his sprained left foot. He had catches of 43 and 18 yards in Saturday’s loss to Arizona, though Garrett said he wasn’t sure when Dunbar hurt his foot.

Garrett said Dunbar is certainly out of Saturday night’s game at home against Arizona, the fourth of the team’s five exhibition games.

The injury could also put Dunbar’s status for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants in jeopardy.

“He’s certainly going to be out for this week, and we’re just kind of seeing day to day beyond that,” Garrett said. “He’s playing really well. Done a really nice job for us in all phases as a runner, as a receiver and as a pass protector. He’s showing up on special teams and hopefully this is just a mild setback for him.”

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