Thursday, December 27th, 2007


IRVING, TEXAS – The No. 7 Missouri Tigers opened preparations for the 72nd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a 75-minute workout in light pads and sweats under chilly, cloudy conditions at Texas Stadium.

Missouri conducted a typical “Sunday” practice on the home field of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Gary Pinkel said practicing at the historic venue is a special treat for his coaches and players.

“This is a historic site here. This is a historic stadium,” said Pinkel. “You think of Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson and the great Dallas Cowboy teams. They’re certainly real excited about playing here.”

The Mizzou contingent arrived in Dallas on Wednesday a little later than anticipated due to a delay with an inspection that would not allow the plane to depart from Columbia. The team charter was delayed by three hours but arrived in time for the FOX Sports Welcome featuring comedian Frank Caliendo.

“We changed the departure time and told all the players and families to take off and come back three hours later,” said Pinkel. “Some of the players went to the mall. Some of the players went home to their apartments or dorm rooms so it really worked out. Nobody really said much. Not a lot of control over that.”

The Tigers’ first practice went off without a hitch. Junior TE Chase Coffman practiced without restrictions though he did don a red bib, symbolizing no contact, at times for cautionary reasons.

Among those in attendance to observe the Tigers’ first Dallas practice were approximately 25 Texas high school coaches. The MU roster lists 18 players from the state of Texas, six of which are starters, including Heisman Trophy candidate Chase Daniel who is from nearby Southlake.  

Tonight, the Mizzou coaches and players will enjoy an annual Cotton Bowl tradition at the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. On Friday, Mizzou will resume its preparations for the 24th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks with a second practice at Texas Stadium.

Missouri takes on Arkansas in the 72nd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on January 1. Kickoff is slated for 10:40 a.m. FOX Sports will televise the game nationally and Westwood One will handle the national radio broadcast.

--- 72nd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic --