Frisco -- There's nothing quite like taking a break from work for a day at the ballpark, so the Cowboys were hyped up for their sixth annual Reliant home run derby at Dr. Pepper Ballpark Monday.
"It's a chance to compete with our players a little bit," said head coach Jason Garrett, "it's really a fun day."
Receiver Dez Bryant was decked out in new Air Jordan cleats, ready to take a few swings, but in his excitement to participate, he missed one incredibly important detail.
"I had a little issue, I drove out to Arlington," said Bryant, smiling and drawing laughter from the assembled media members.
Bryant went to Globe Life Park where the event was held in past years. So he showed up late because his son wasn't about to let dear old dad off the hook.
"Yall don't kill me too much," Bryant said to the media. "My son has already killed me. I was ready to go back to the house. He was like, 'Daddy, [Jason Witten's] kids are there. I want to go.' So I was like, 'o.k., c'mon.'"
The home run derby meant taking a few cuts out of their comfort zone.
And while some of the Cowboys looked every bit the part of football players trying to play baseball, others actually had a little pop in their bats, especially center Travis Frederick, and defensive back Orlando Scandrick, not to mention Garrett, the derby winner.
"Well, I'm not going to try to rub it in their faces too much," Garrett said with a wry smile and a chuckle. "They may hear it occasionally."
This day is all about fun and games, and it's great for team bonding. Cowboys players say they're soaking up the atmosphere because they know the heavy lifting to get ready for the season is right around the corner.
"It's important for us to get away and so something like this, enjoy ourselves while doing it. It's for a great cause," said quarterback Dak Prescott. "We're excited, we've been [working hard] already; we're excited."
Several players stayed long after the competition to simply play ball. It's another sign that these guys really like each other, and they're picking up where they left off last year in terms of building positive team chemistry.
Perhaps that explains about the strangest sight you could imagine - Prescott and running back Zeke Elliott donning a blue two-man dot race costume to compete with safeties Byron Jones and Jeff Heath, as well as linemen Travis Frederick and Zack Martin.
Dot races? Really? Whatever works.
The Cowboys raised $50,000 for the Salvation Army. So, it turned about to be all in good fun for a great cause.
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