Pads on today for Cowboys

OXNARD, Calif. -- When the Cowboys take to the practice field this afternoon, they will put pads on for the first time.

New rules in the collective bargaining agreement require teams to work their way into training camp instead of going in full pads immediately.

Jason Garrett has told the players they must wear full pads, in accordance with the new league rule for games. And he will have another message for the players.

“You’re always talking to your team about how to practice and keeping guys off the ground,” Garrett said. “You show them examples of what’s a good illustration of practicing well and a good illustration of not really practicing well. We create competitive situations. Everything we do is competitive … but at the same time you have to understand these guys are your teammates. Stay off the ground, practice the right way and have a healthy respect for each other.”

For the rookies, this will be their first time in pads as Cowboys. Offseason practices are run without pads.

“It’s exciting,” tight end Gavin Escobar said. “We’ve been practicing in just helmets for a while now, so I think we’re all amped to get the pads on and get moving around playing football.”