Cowboys face high temps in first day in full pads

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By Jim Gazzolo

Special to the American Press

On the hottest day of camp yet, the Cowboys strapped on their full pads for the first time Monday.

As the temperature rose to 95 degrees inside Cowboy Stadium, the McNeese State team had to take a mandatory weather break at one point.

New NCAA rules state that when the temperature hits 92 or above a mandatory break must be taken. First-year head coach Gary Goff used it to simulate a weather delay in games.

“Those breaks we had to take are like coming out of a halftime so we simulated that,” said Goff. “It’s going to happen some time during the season so we have to respond.”

Overall the coach said the first full day “wasn’t great but that’s why we are in camp.”

The weather may have had something to do with it.

“It was a little struggle,” Goff said. “It was hot out there. We had a lot of adversity today and we need that right now.”

The players were happy to be getting another step closer to the season starting.

“It was fun and there was some hitting going on,” said quarterback Walker Wood. “You could hear the pads pop. Guys were getting after each other.

Wood is getting an extended look from coaches as both Knox Kadum and Cam Ransom are limited with injuries.

“They are day-to-day right now, but we sure want them back,” said Goff of his injured QBs.

The two FBS transfers are nursing injuries and while they went through drills on Monday neither threw. Kadum (thumb) is expected to begin light throwing today, which is an off day for the Cowboys.

Ransom (back) will be looked at this week and re-evaluated.

Wood, himself a transfer from Kentucky, played wide receiver last fall and asked Goff if he could move back to his original position. He has had his share of good and bad in camp but overall has impressed the coaches.

“Walker has had moments as has (Ryan) Roberts,” Goff said.

Wood’s days at receiver are likely over, but he isn’t ready to look too far ahead either.

“Just taking it one play at a time and time,” Wood said. “I love playing football. They gave me the chance to play quarterback and I’m just out here taking it a play by play.”

One group looking good in camp are the running backs. Led by Deonte McMahon, the McNeese backs have been strong in the early going.

“Deonte is a lighting bolt back there,” said Goff. “We are going to have to get him the ball.”

Goff also called out transfers D’Angelo Durham (Savannah State) and Marcus McElroy (Colorado State) for their play. McElroy has lost about 15 pounds and increased his quickness Goff said.

“The running game is just as strong as the passing game,” said McMahon, who rushed for 573 yards and eight touchdowns last season, averaging 5.1 yards a carry.

“We are way more confident in this offense,” McMahon added. “See the holes and we break it off. We have an offensive line that can dominate.”

The Cowboys will take today off and host Victory Day, which will provide cognitively and physically impaired children 8-18 a chance to play football and cheer on the field.

Full practices will resume Wednesday with the first scrimmage set for Saturday.