Since there is no NFL team in Los Angeles, Malibu residents do not have a lot of options when it comes to watching professional football live. The most convenient way to see NFL action requires a road trip to San Diego to watch the Chargers compete. However, through Aug. 27, Malibu football fans can drive up the coast to Oxnard to watch Dallas Cowboys practice daily.
The Cowboys are holding training camp at the Marriot Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge. The Cowboys last held training camp in Oxnard in 2008, and then spent 2009 in San Antonio. Admission to training camp is free.
The Cowboys opened their training camp in Oxnard on Saturday. Thousands of fans attended, with the majority wearing Cowboys gear and screaming for their favorite players.
“We see the support from the fans,” Cowboys running back Felix Jones said. “We know it is there, but to actually come out here and be surrounded by it is a great thing,”
In addition to watching practice, fans can collect signatures in Autograph Alley, play in the mini-amusement park with blow-up Cowboys slides and game, purchase souvenirs in the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, and visit the Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame featuring exhibits depicting the history of the team.
The players appreciate practicing in the foggy Oxnard weather, which can be as much as 40 degrees cooler than in Dallas.
“It is a good working environment for us,” Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking said. “We have been in camp for seemingly forever, and then to know that we have two more weeks, a change of scenery, different atmosphere, the weather, and the fan support is tremendous.”
Cowboys kicker David Buehler was a fan favorite because he went to high school in Anaheim, and played college football at USC.
“It feels great to have these USC fans out here. It is a welcome back home,” Buehler said. “To get out of that Texas heat is extraordinary. I was born and raised in this weather, so it is nice.”
Last season, the Cowboys finished 11-5 in the regular season. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles before losing to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Through training camp this season, Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams has been impressed with the team’s toughness. “This team would play on the street, on the concrete, or wherever,” Williams said.
The Cowboys are led by quarterback Tony Romo, who passed for 4,483 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. Romo has a lot of offensive weapons. He will hand the ball off to bruising running back Marion Barber and explosive running back Felix Jones. At wide receiver, Romo will throw to wide receivers Miles Austin, who made the Pro Bowl last season, and Roy Williams, a Pro Bowler in 2006, and tight end Jason Witten, a Pro Bowler the last six seasons. The Cowboys also had the fifth best defense last season in terms of total yards allowed per game.
“At the end of the day, we are here as a team with one goal, and that is to win a championship,” Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin said.