NFL hopes to start season on time; Cowboys preseason opener still in play

Tribune Content Agency

DALLAS — If you have any questions about the start of the NFL season, league spokesperson Brian McCarthy said Saturday morning the goal is to start everything on time.

Yes, even the Aug. 6 Hall of Fame preseason game between the Cowboys and the Steelers.

The NFL will release the 2020 schedule next week.

“It is only responsible for the league to prepare for all alternatives and we will be ready if we have to make adjustments,” McCarthy told The Dallas Morning News in an email on Saturday. “Our decisions will continue to be guided by the latest advice from medical and public health officials, as well as current and future government regulations.”

NFL teams are not allowed at their team facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some states, including Texas, have slowly opened up some retail businesses and restaurants. But NFL officials will only allow teams to report to their facilities when the entire country is open.

“Our primary focus remains protecting the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel and communities,” McCarthy said. “We have made adjustments this offseason with changes to free agency, the (NFL) draft and the virtual offseason program which have all been conducted safely and efficiently.”

The Cowboys have training camp practices in Oxnard, Calif., and it’s undetermined if they will have it again this summer.

Mike McCarthy said he’s got two training camp plans, one for Oxnard and another for Frisco, at the team’s headquarters. This offseason, the Cowboys, along with other NFL teams, have been unable to have on-field work with players due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams are conducting virtual meetings with players, instead.

The NFL, however, still has a belief the season will start on time unless told otherwise.

NBA officials explored the possibility of opening team facilities in states that eased stay-at-home practices. Jerry Jones was supporting the NFL plans on keeping things closed until further notice.

“I know this, there’s a fundamental thing that we have in the NFL,” Jones said last week when asked about the NBA’s potential plans. “That is that we’re not going to do anything in areas where some teams are allowed to gather, practice and prepare, and others teams can’t because of either the very obvious. They might be under an acute set of facts, there are just more people sick or there are more people with the virus. And there are some places in this country that do have less of everything we all see or are being considered. So, until that evens up or until that gets competitive, then I think you’re going to see some restrictions.”


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