Dallas We Have A Problem
This time of year rookies in the National Football League attend off season training (OTA) with their respective teams. But the post draft hype ended really abruptly today at the Dallas Cowboys training facilities. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was among 12 people injured when tornado like winds ripped through the roof of the team’s indoor practice facility during a rookie minicamp.
The storm hit while 27 players were going through workouts. There were about 70 people in the facility, counting coaches, other team personnel and media, officials said. Ten of the injured were taken by emergency vehicles. Two others went to hospitals on their own. “This worked out very, very well from a medical point of view,” said Dr. Paul Pepe, head of emergency medical services for Dallas County. “Right now, I think we don’t have anybody who is in a life-threatening situation.”
The white, tent-like building is large enough to be seen from miles away. It was built in 2003, for Bill Parcells’ first season as coach. Safety DeAngelo Smith and linebacker Brandon Williams were two of the heroes during this unfortunate occurence. According to news reports, players were seen walking through the debris looking to make sure that their teammates were okay. There were also reports of a camera man who got tangled into the debris, and had his equipment hurled about two football fields away. The giant blue star atop the building lay crumpled on the ground. The storm knocked out power at team headquarters and splintered trees across the property. Larry Rodriguez, a local television cameraman who was in the news several years ago after he was attacked by Kenny Rogers while filming the former Texas Rangers pitcher, was treated with six stitches for a cut on a hand.
The names and details of their injuries were not released due to privacy issues. The storm was producing winds measured at 64 mph just before it struck the Cowboys facility, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris in Fort Worth. A weak tornado is in the range of 65-110 mph, according to NWS guidelines. Power was knocked out for less than an hour. Head Coach Wade Phillips said that he was happy no one got electrocuted with all the water in the building. This was the second of three scheduled days of practices, but Sunday’s session has been canceled.