The weather alternated between dreary and sunny during the afternoon but shortly after the Cowboys began their first practice at the University of San Diego the rains came and pelted the players sideways coming off the Pacific Ocean. It was a cold rain and while Friday is supposed to be dry the temperature of 57 degrees is considered cool for San Diego.
Despite the less than ideal weather, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and several of the players felt the practice went well today.
"We had a full, full pads and two-hour practice," said Gundy. "It was like an extra Monday practice.
"I felt like Forrest Gump out there, the rain was coming parallel to the ground. I guess because of the ocean or something. It didn't bother the guys. They were in a great frame of mind, so they had a good practice. I think they are a fairly mentally tough team," Gundy continued.
"We practiced three times before we came out here where the wind chill was about 10 degrees. These guys understand that their is work that has to be done."
Quarterback Zac Robinson said, "I thought we did all right. It was fairly brutal conditions. Guys were enthusiastic and definitely excited to be back out here (practicing) and at the bowl site. We had fun and just tried to push through conditions and get our work done."
Following practice the players and staff met back at the hotel with the Holiday Bowl hosts for a massive buffet dinner and a welcome ceremony with the meal for the team. One Holiday Bowl representative said the Cowboy know how to eat as there was nothing left.
The Cowboys have meetings and practice Friday morning before taking a trip as a team to the world famous San Diego Zoo. The tastes at the zoo vary by players as no two players can be counted on to head to the same place first.
"I like the otters," said Cowboys senior offensive center David Washington, who said he had been to California as a child. "They are just so laid back and smooth and that is how I am."
"Otter? I think the girls like to hang out and go see the otters," said Robinson within earshot of Washington. I guess quarterbacks can kid their center.
"I'm going to go see the lions and the bears, more of the manly stuff," continued Robinson. "I remember taking field trips to the zoo and I liked it back then, so I know here in San Diego they have a great zoo and we'll have a good time."
Speaking of Robinson, with the travel difficulties of wide receiver Damian Davis and defensive tackle Ahmad Jones, who both dealt with flight delays in getting to San Diego, it reminded up of Zac Robinson getting in late for the Independence Bowl.
"It was the smoothest travel that I've ever had," said Robinson laughing while thinking of his problems in 2006 getting to Shreveport, La. "It was nice there were no interruptions with cell phones or being kicked off of planes. It was really nice."
The weather was cold and rainy but the hospitality was very warm, and apparently the food was really good too. That made it a good day on day one of the Holiday Bowl trip for the Cowboys.
Friday, Dec. 26
San Diego Zoo trip
Sea World trip
Afternoon Walk Through