IRVING, Texas -- For nearly a month and half the Cowboys practiced in Oxnard, Calif., where the average temperature was 65 degrees in the morning and afternoon.
In the past three days, the Cowboys practiced at Valley Ranch with the temps in the high 90s as they prepared for the season-opening game against the New York Giants on Sunday night. Several players needed IVs to get through practice and the air conditioned locker room was a welcomed sight.
"You embrace the opportunity that you have," coach Jason Garrett said. "You go out there and this is where we practice and we think it can be used to our advantage to practice in these kind of conditions. I thought we did a really good job in training camp, taking advantage of that environment, now this is the environment we're in. We did practice in the morning in the last couple of weeks. We got a more normal, morning schedule here this past week; you have to game plan and do those kinds of things."
Considering the heat in North Texas, the Cowboys could play Sunday's game with the roof open at AT&T Stadium. Team officials have until 90 minutes before game time to make that decision. The weekend forecast has the high at 96 degrees with the low at 74 degrees for the 7:30 p.m. CT start.
The Cowboys are 4-7 with a fully opened stadium and 2-0 with just the roof open and the end zone doors closed.
"We'll certainly have discussions about that over the next couple of days," Garrett said. "Who does it favor? We think regardless of what the environment is, it's a positive thing for us and we're going to play our best football."