Cowboys open training camp with optimism but it's overshadowed by Whitehead's release


The preseason is finally here for the Dallas Cowboys, as fans can dust off the merchandise because Oxnard is open for business.

The Cowboys began training camp practice on Monday, as they call northern California home for the next several weeks until Aug. 18.

The focus this year surrounds the motto "re-commit" - as to say their 2016 success won't carry over to this season. Nothing is guaranteed.

"We think it's important early on in training camp, to not give anyone a spot and make sure that the guys earn the spot by what they do from this moment going forward," said head coach Jason Garrett prior to the teams' first practice.

And while everyone fights to make a name for themselves, it's a full-circle moment for now-second year QB1 Dak Prescott.

"This time last year, I wasn't the starter but I was the guy out here getting minimal reps at practice," said Prescott before taking the field. "So just to come in and know I'll have all this time and all these reps to get better, I'm excited."

But again, off-field issues take center stage, and it couldn't come at a more pivotal time. Wide Receiver Lucky Whitehead was cut from the team just before first practice.

The reason? Whitehead was charged with larceny after an alleged shoplifting incident in Virginia back in June, but he failed to show to his arraignment July 6 th .

An arrest warrant for failing to appear is now out for Whitehead who has an August 10 court date.

And adding to the trouble, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team didn't know of the arrest before today.

Whitehead's agent David Rich told ESPN it's a case of mistaken identity, and that Whitehead was not in Virginia at the time of alleged crime. A plane ticket showed Whitehead was in Dallas then landed in Washington D.C. 10 hours after the alleged incident.

Whitehead 25, has played the past two seasons for the Cowboys, appearing in 30 games with two starts. He has rushed 20 times for 189 yards and caught nine passes for 64 yards. He also has been used as a punt and kick returner.

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