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Report: Cowboys Below 70% Vaccination Level, New NFL Guidelines for COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus will still have an impact on the 2021 NFL season, even though some major hurdles have already been cleared. For the Cowboys, one such improvement compared to last offseason is training camp returning to Oxnard, California.

The Cowboys announced their return to Oxnard earlier this week, with the news that fans will be allowed to attend open practices. Exactly what protocols these fans will have to follow at training camps around the league isn’t fully known, but the guidelines for players and coaches are now much clearer.

Many of these rules and restrictions are now based on whether or not a player or coach is vaccinated. Daily testing, masks, quarantine following a close exposure, and bans on social/marketing activities are just a few of the protocols non-vaccinated personnel will have to adhere to.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter: “The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source. How different will life by for vaccinated and unvaccinated players? From the memo that just went to clubs: / Twitter”

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source. How different will life by for vaccinated and unvaccinated players? From the memo that just went to clubs:

While some can say that none of these things stopped the 2020 season from reaching the finish line, the incentives to play a new 17 game schedule with a wide majority of the league vaccinated are clear. Vaccinated players and coaches will be able to remove their masks around the facility, including in a full weight room or cafeteria amongst other vaccinated individuals, and leave their hotel on the road.

The fine for an unvaccinated individual breaking quarantine can reach up to $50,000 on first offense. Unlike in 2020, where teams on the road may have limited options for entertainment in their city, there are now plenty of major cities operating at full capacity without mask mandates for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Weighing the pros and cons of these new rules remains a personal decisions that teams are talking to their staffs about. There is a layer to this that could clearly affect roster building though, as vaccinated players will not have to quarantine after being exposed.

Players fighting to make down-roster spots and practice squads can make themselves more valuable simply by being available – be it injury free or protected from COVID-19.

The biggest note for coaches in this league memo is that unvaccinated staff members will not be able to work in person with players starting with training camp. Regardless of how well teams feel they handled a virtual offseason a year ago, on-field coaching is a valuable tool that was missed by teams like the Cowboys who introduced a new Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator in 2020.

That DC, Mike Nolan, did not last the season coaching with Mike McCarthy as the challenge of installing a new defense during the COVID-19 offseason was too great. McCarthy has told the media that the vaccine remains a personal choice for everyone in the organization.

According to a report from the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins, the Cowboys are under a 70% threshold for vaccinated players. Other sports like Major League Baseball have set a percentage for teams to lift masking and other restrictions, with the MLB holding at 85%.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter: “Cowboys currently lower than 70 percent fully vaccinated among its players. / Twitter”

Cowboys currently lower than 70 percent fully vaccinated among its players.

The NFL has chosen to operate on a more individual basis, though allowing players to virtually “return to normal” once vaccinated could incentive teams to quickly reach a high threshold. The Cowboys opening press conference from Oxnard is Wednesday, July 21st. Media members will be allowed to attend, those that are vaccinated able to hold in-person interviews. This may be the next time the Cowboys can update their fans on their latest vaccination level as it relates to these new NFL guidelines.

Tell us what you think about “Report: Cowboys Below 70% Vaccination Level, New NFL Guidelines for COVID-19” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

What do you think?

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.


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  1. I can’t blame a player if he doesn’t take this vaccine! From my research it takes Four to six years in clinical trials to determine if a vaccine is safe and poses no danger to the human body in the long run! We in essence are using ourselves as Laboratory rats and waiting to see how this thing plays out! I read where fourth to sixty percent of DR Fauci’s staff hasn’t taken the vaccine this kinda concerns me and in talking with local nurses and doctors in my ares several of them hadn’t taken it ! The bottom line is I guess it should be up to the individual!

  2. It is my opinion that each player should make their own minds up whether or not to take the vaccine, not the league or anyone else for that matter. Since it will atler the inate immune system for the rest of their lives, along with other lesser known side effects that are not always being reported accurately, no one has any long term data on its affects. Countless doctors are handcuffed how and when they report vaccine related ailments/side effects. Football is only temporary, the altered immune system is permanent. Who knows how long some of the side effects will last. With so many still unknowns, I just don’t think any organization should mandate it without being legally liable for the possible future side effects, and being exempt from their mandatory order without any recourse what-so-ever is opening a big can of worms. Just not having the personal decision capability is an infringement on everyone’s personal liberties and no employer has the right to arbitrarily dismiss those rights. I’m sure we will soon see law suits in the courts concerning this dilemma that will encompass professions across the entire spectrum of society. Time will tell if taking the “vaccine” was a good decision or not. Players will have to do what they think is right, as will the rest of us.

  3. Biden and Kamala said not to take it during the election probably the only smart thing that has come out of government in years

  4. Being vaccinated is totally an individual decision, but the reasons people are giving for not being vaccinated are incredibly naive. First of all, the vaccine was not developed from scratch, so that 4-6 years of testing is kind of irrelevant. Researchers have been testing mRNA vaccines for decades. They know what it does, how it works, and its potential side effects and it just so happens to work on covid.

    As for altering the immune system, it teaches the immune system to develop a new protein that blocks covid. I for one, like having a multi talented immune system. Teach it to block covid, the flu, the black plague, and anything else that responds to an mRNA vaccine.

    You may not think that organizations should mandate people being fully vaccinated, but guess what? It has been done for years. Im 60 and I had to have a litany of shots just to start school. My children had to have shots in order to go to day care and then to school. We already mandate shots. This one should be mandated as well, IN MY OPINION. Kids in schools are a germ factory. I spent the first 2 years of my 28 years teaching sick with something.

    Biden and Harris have both taken the shot, BTW.

  5. Thanks to DeAnn Rompf for injecting (pun intended) actual facts into this discussion.
    I am alarmed and disgusted that my beloved Dallas Cowboys are below 70% vaccination rate…

  6. Deann Rompf, the only thing that you said that is factual is that it is an individual’s choice.

    Whether or not where the nativity lies will not been known for months or even years. If you have taken a deep dive in sources outside the WHO, CDC and government backed narrative outlets, you would know that everything you stated is not the case. If this is a widely test “Vaccine” why has it not been approved by the FDA and will not be until 2023 at the earliest? Since you are in your 60″s as I am, you know that we were given 8 vaccines verse 30-50 they give today and have since been linked to a variety of birth defects in some cases. Not that I am anti-vaccine, it’s just this vaccine, which has not been tested for long term side effects and is now been shown to cause inflammation in the heart, brain and liver, all very important organs, not to mention sterility.

    The “multi-talented” immune system you think you now possess is hardly that. If you actually researched what it does, it in fact trains you system to attack this strain of covid and is effective in doing so, however, it converts your system to attack that virus only and it makes you susceptible to other viruses. Your system now is venerable to and cannot fight off viruses as your natural immune system would have done before you changed and manipulated it with this experimental gene therapy. If it was so safe, why are there so many trained medical professionals refusing to take it? Why has one of the world’s most famous vaccine advocates that has overseen vaccines across the globe issued dire warnings that this is exactly what this does to your immune system? If you are trusting the CDC, they profit more on vaccines than any organization, so just follow the money. The ONLY reason this is even referred to as a “vaccine” is to protect pharmaceutical companies from wrongful death and all other lawsuits and had to be assured of that if it was not going to go through normal FDA approval protocol and protect their profits. Just ask yourself, when has the pharmaceutical industry ever cured anything? They are not in the business of cures, only treating symptoms, and creating more patients for doctors! Also, with a 98.0002% survival rate, why would anyone take a largely unknown drug that any healthy human being would survive? Frankly it just doesn’t make sense.

    You say we are incredibly naïve if we choose not to subject our body to an experimental therapy…maybe, maybe not. Before anyone makes that decision, you should look for unbiased science that is not agenda driven. Yes, science can be agenda driven, and if you don’t think so, then who is really naïve? Let’s just for one second say they are wrong, and what I have outlined is correct…which side of that would you want to be on? The side that severely changes your immune system with unknown long term facts, or rely on your natural immune system that would fight it off anyway? Unless you’re susceptible and have underlying conditions there is absolutely no reason to do that.

    One has to be their own advocate and not trust the peer pressure that has no right to mandate anything…remember my body my choice? Whatever happen to that, or is that selective like everything else?

    It’s been said the nine most dangerous words in the English language are…I’m from the government and we’re here to help!

    No truer words were ever spoken, and the last entity to trust for your well being…that would be naïve for sure!

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