Less time in California for Cowboys?

Now that the preseason schedule is set, the Dallas Cowboys can go about setting their training camp schedule.

Camp is scheduled to open in late July in Oxnard, Calif., but because of the One Direction concert at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 24, the Cowboys will not be able to play their first two preseason games on the West Coast.

It sets up the possibility that they could spend less time in California than they have in the past. With their third preseason game at the Miami Dolphins, it would seem to be more prudent to remain at Valley Ranch following their second preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in order to avoid a cross-country flight from California to Florida.

Here are some other preseason nuggets:

  • Two of the Cowboys’ four preseason games will matter with the starters playing at most two or three series in the preseason opener and not playing at all in the preseason finale. The games against the Ravens and Dolphins figure to be good tests. And they were 8-8 just like the Cowboys last year. The Ravens have a physical defense and a challenging offense with quarterback Joe Flacco. The game at Sun Life Stadium will be a good test in the South Florida heat after a couple of weeks in the cool Southern California climate.

  • DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys' all-time leader in sacks, will make his return to AT&T Stadium on Aug. 28 with the Denver Broncos, although he is not likely to play in the finale. The Cowboys cut Ware earlier in the offseason and he quickly found a home with the Broncos thanks to a three-year deal that guaranteed him $20 million.

  • For only the third time since 2000 the Cowboys will not see an NFC team in the preseason. The last time it happened came in 2010 when they played the Cincinnati Bengals in the Hall of Fame game, the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans and Dolphins.

  • The Cowboys do not have a nationally televised preseason game for the first time since 2008. A sign of waning popularity? Doubtful, but it is interesting.