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OXNARD, California The Dallas Cowboys circus has come to town, and that made for a good day for the soldiers and their families at Point Mugu Naval Base.

After the Cowboys landed there and before leaving for training camp in Oxnard they spent about an hour with military personnel on base.

There were autographs, pictures, and handshakes. But more than anything, there were memories made and gratitude shared back and forth.

'Its always special for us,' said tight end Jason Witten. 'I think it provides perspective, you know? It's the least we can do for them... all their service. Its great to see a smile on their face.'

The Cowboys will call Oxnard their home-away-from-home for the next three-and-a-half weeks.

They'll try to build a foundation to improve on three consecutive and disappointing 8-8 seasons. There are many questions about this team but not when it comes to their mindset.

'Its purely work,' said center Travis Frederick. 'We're out here to work; we're out here to make our team better.'

Safety Barry Church echoed that sentiment. 'The mindset is to just get better as a whole, and as a defense specifically,' he said. 'I'm a part of the defensive side, so when we go out there we need to make sure everybody from the top to the bottom whether you're a first-stringer or a fourth-stringer make sure you know the play book front to back.'

Frederick said on the plane ride he could sense the excitement in his teammates as they prepare to show that they've put in a ton of hard work so far.

'I think that the team's done a really good job of doing things in the off-season,' Frederick said. 'I can speak especially for the offensive line and tell you that our group has put in the work, and we're ready to go.'

They'll get going Thursday when the team lines up for the first of 16 practice sessions during their stay in Oxnard.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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