Cowboys' Practice Bubble Collapses

Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis was among those injured Saturday after the team's indoor practice facility collapsed during a thunderstorm.

Former coach Dan Reeves, DeCamillis' father-in-law, said the first-year Dallas coach has a couple of broken vertebrae in his lower back.

"They say he's lucky not to be paralyzed," said Reeves, adding that DeCamillis probably will have surgery.

The coach was seen being removed on a stretcher wearing a neck brace, and 10 total members of the team's staff were taken to area hospitals. There were two additional hospital walk-ins, but none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.


Scouting assistant Rich Behm (33) sustained a fracture to the Thoracic spine (10th Thoracic vertebrae). The fracture caused a severing of the spinal cord at that level causing permanent paralysis from the waist down. He underwent surgery to stabilize the fracture last night and remains in stable condition at Parkland Hospital.

Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis (43) sustained a fracture of one of his cervical vertebrae (C-7/T-1).  He remains in stable condition without paralysis at Parkland Hospital. Surgery to stabilize the fracture is scheduled for Monday morning.

Assistant athletic trainer, Greg Gaither (35) sustained a fracture to the tibia and fibula in his right leg which was surgically repaired last night at Baylor University Medical Center. He should be released later this week.

The team said about half an hour into the second practice of the day, at around 3:25 p.m. (c.t.), the roof and light fixtures began to shake. Only moments later the bubble roof of the Valley Ranch facility collapsed.

About 70 people were inside the facility, including 27 players, some of whom helped a news reporter from the debris. Fire and rescue workers fled to the scene, and all players and coaches were accounted for. The team said the rest of the mini-camp is likely canceled.

"On behalf of the organization I would like to first express our tremendous gratitude to the City of Irving fire, police and emergency medical personnel, who responded in a very rapid and effective manner," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said. "In addition, I would like to say that our primary thoughts and concerns at this time are with those who were injured and their families."

The facility, which covered a regulation-sized football field, was a canopy supported by steel frames. However, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts of at least 64 miles per hour, which helped bring the structure down.


AP Report.

5 minute video of it happening and the aftermath.

Blogging The Boys.

Zorn talks to players.

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