OXNARD, Calif. – These four weeks of training camp have been serious business around here for the Dallas Cowboys.
But finally, on the final padded practice of camp, as the Cowboys were doing their team stretch Thursday morning, and about to begin their daily jumping jacks, a little levity, courtesy of head coach Jason Garrett.
Garrett was standing near the far east goal line when he sees who turned out to be Marvin Thompson, walking along the fence separating the fans from the field. This guy is in full uniform, No. 21 Ezekiel Elliott jersey, regulation game pants he bought online, pads, gloves tucked into his belt and the socks to boot. All that was missing was a helmet covering his bushy hair.
Garrett was amused. Greatly amused, and told the guards to bring that guy through the gate and onto the field. And to Thompson’s astonishment, Garrett put him front and center of the team, asking him to lead the team in jumping jacks.
So, there goes the tad overweight Thompson, trying to keep up with the jumping jacks as the team is hooting and hollering about their new-found Zeke. And before they finished, Zeke comes sprinting up from the back row to help out a struggling Thompson, and when the jumping jacks were finished, you never seen so much hip- and chest-bumping going on.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Thompson, the LA resident saying he tries to go to at least a Cowboys home and away game every year and sits in the stands as dressed. “Coach said, ‘Hey, bring that guy on the field.”
And the rest?
“Amazing,” said Thompson, and not sure if he was out of breath from the jumping jacks or the shock of what took place.
Who says Garrett doesn’t have a sense of humor.