The Dallas Cowboys have set a date for training camp: July 29 in San Antonio, TX. What the hell do you care? Because the Cowboys setting a camp date is a slightly significant event, given Jerry Jones' direct involvement in the NFL settlement talks. The St. Louis Rams are scheduled to begin camp on July 22, two weeks from Friday, but with labor talks ongoing that date now seems optimistic at best, unless the Cowboys' penciling in a hard date for their camp represents a good sign.
Throughout the lockout, teams have operated normally, in as much as they possibly can in an environment that has disallowed contact with players. That means coaches and their staffs have continued the work of scouting, watching tape, etc. and planning as though the 2011 NFL season will go off as though the lockout never happened. That means getting all the logistical nuts and bolts in place for training camp. Hence, the Cowboys, or any team, setting a date for camp isn't particularly unusual. Like I said above, it is notable for the obvious fact of Jones' role in the settlement talks, which continue this week.
July 15, next Friday, is seen by many as the drop dead date for the preseason to go on uninterrupted. That's probably cutting it pretty close, two weeks from the start of Jones' date for the Cowboys to begin camp.
Four days of talks between players and owners are planned for this week. By Friday, we should have a clear idea of whether or not the Rams can go forward with training camp as planned.