Armed with a new signal caller and all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith, the Arizona Cardinals report July 25 to Flagstaff where the team will hold its 16th annual preseason training camp.
While in Flagstaff, the Cards have always attracted plenty of Rim country football fans eager for a free preview of the team.
With highly popular Smith now on the Card roster, even more local fans could be making the trek north to Northern Arizona University where practices are held.
In addition to adding Smith to the lineup, the Cardinals now have veteran quarterback Jeff Blake calling signals. Blake replaces former Arizona State University star Jake Plummer who inked a contract with the Denver Broncos.
Another intriguing addition to the Arizona team is Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. Following his amazing performance in the Super Bowl, Arizona outbid several other NFL teams for the services of Jackson. With Jackson playing safety, last year's porous secondary could be much improved.
The highlight of the Cards 20-day stay at NAU will be the annual autograph session and scrimmage to be held Aug. 2 in Walkup Skydome. The autograph session will be from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The scrimmage begins at 2 p.m.
Aug. 9, Arizona returns to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe for a pre-season scrimmage against Smith's former teammates, the Dallas Cowboys. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
The Cards break training camp and return to Tempe Aug. 13. All training camp practices are open to the public. Beginning July 20, football fans can call the Cardinal hotline (520-523-2273) for exact practice times.
Before traveling to Flagstaff to take in a practice, fans should check the hotline. If it rains, which is a common occurrence during the monsoon season, practices move from the outdoor fields at NAU to the Skydome.
Also on the Cardinal agenda for fans is the team's annual "Football for Women" event, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sept 16, at the team's Tempe training facility. The evening is an opportunity for female football fans to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Cardinal facilities and visit with head coach Dave McGinnis. In addition to interactive classroom training, Arizona players run the women through practice drills on the field. The cost is $50 per person which includes hors d'oeuvres reception, seminar, a "Cardinals Football for Women" instruction booklet and a special gift.
Call 602-379-1625 for information.
Training camp schedule
July 25 Physicals/Travel to Flagstaff
July 26 Two practices
July 27 Weightlifting, Team Meetings, Afternoon practice
July 28 Two practices
July 29 Two practices
July 30 Weightlifting, Team Meetings, Afternoon practice
July 31 Two practices
Aug. 1 Two practices
Aug. 2 Autograph Session 1-1:30 p.m./Honeywell Red/White Scrimmage presented by ALLTEL & America West Airlines 2 p.m.
Aug. 3 Weightlifting, Team Meetings
Aug. 4 Two practices
Aug. 5 Two practices
Aug. 6 Two practices
Aug. 7 Two practices
Aug. 8 Morning practice, travel to Phoenix
Aug. 9 Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sun Devil Stadium, 7 p.m. (MST)
Aug. 10 Travel to Flagstaff
Aug. 11 View Dallas Tape, Afternoon Practice
Aug. 12 Two practices
Aug. 13 Morning practice, Break Camp