Jason Garrett pleased with offseason work

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys began their offseason without DeMarcus Ware for the first time since 2005. They saw their best defender, Sean Lee, tear the anterior cruciate ligament on the first organized team activities (OTAs) session and their quarterback, Tony Romo, not take a competitive snap because of back surgery.

The offseason ended Thursday when rookie cornerback Terrance Mitchell intercepted a Dustin Vaughan pass in the final minicamp practice.

“We had a really good practice to finish a really good minicamp to finish a really good offseason program,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We have the right kind of guys on our football team. They work the right way. They’re coming together. We have a long, long way to go and we all know that. We’ve made great strides here over the course of the offseason. I like how our team works and now it’s time for them to get away from it and come back recharged, ready to go, and get ready for training camp.”

The Cowboys will travel to Oxnard, California, on July 22 and will hold their first practice on July 24.

The team that ended Thursday’s minicamp might not be the team that travels to California. The Cowboys worked out four players on Wednesday and will look for help at multiple spots, potentially at tight end, interior offensive line and linebacker.

“We’ll continue to make evaluations of individual guys, where they stack up, if they belong on the roster, who else is on the landscape,” Garrett said. “You’re always trying to do that. Feel good about how guys have come in here and worked. A lot of young guys got a lot of work over the course of the OTAs and minicamp. A lot of veteran players worked hard, felt competition. That’s a good thing for our team and we want to continue to do that. Whether the competition comes from within or without, it’s our job to make sure we’re always trying to put the most competitive situation available out there on our roster.”

Players can continue to work out at Valley Ranch until 10 days before training camp and the rookies will continue through June 27 at more structured workouts.

Even on vacation, football won’t be too far from the players’ and coaches’ minds.

“It’s time we all need to get away and get recharged mentally, physically, emotionally so you want to take advantage of that,” Garrett said. “You want to embrace every day away, but for all of us we’re really locked into this. We care a great deal about it. We’re all very much invested in it, so you’re always thinking about it … Whether that makes (the time) go quickly or slowly I don’t know because you’re always fighting that balance.”