Training Camp | 2023

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Dak Prescott: Cowboys camp scuffles prove team is 'nobody's little brother' in 2023

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OXNARD, Calif. — It felt inevitable and, as it turned out, it was. After two weeks of smashing into each other in padded practices, a boiling point was reached in the final practice in Oxnard; and the Dallas Cowboys found themselves in not one, but two separate scuffles that, punches notwithstanding, was seen as a huge positive by leaders like quarterback Dak Prescott.

The two-time quarterback made it clear he never wants to see punches thrown in practice — the same line that's been drawn by head coach Mike McCarthy — but when it comes to the intensity that fueled the emotional spill during individual and team reps?

"For me, to see the passion," Prescott said on Thursday. "It's a testament to what we've all put into this thing — what the offense has put in and the confidence that has grown, and the defense and who they believe that they are. It's been 10 padded practices and a lot of time going against one other is what that is. It means you're ready to play somebody else.

"You're ready to unleash your passion."

Prescott is entering his eighth year in the NFL and with the Cowboys, and he's never closed out a training camp that had as much intensity as the 2023 version.

"… It's exciting knowing that's where we are, in that last practice, that's what you get," he said. "I can't say, in my eight years, that we've had that."

One thing is for sure, and that's the fact that this is a Cowboys' roster ready to compete in all aspects of the game, to the point they're having a hard time holding back against their own teammates on the opposite side of the ball.

That doesn't bode well for their opposition in 2023.

"That's a credit to everything that we've really put into this team, and into both units — feeling like we're nobody's little brother," said Prescott. "I told the offense the other day that I grew up being a little brother, and that's not happening anymore."

It's a culture of brotherhood in Dallas that is not only unshakeable, but also battle-tested in practice against some of the best in the league at each position who, as safety Jayron Kearse and two-time First-Team All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons describes, are a bunch of "dog competitors."

"We're family," Prescott said. "It's a pleasure to be able to practice with those guys, with that passion, but knowing you get to the locker room and you're on the same team, and we leave all of that on the field."

Kearse also pointed out that the defense is "not taking any sh-t from anyone" on any of the 32 teams, including his own offense, going on to note how Prescott and Co. feel the same way on the other side of the ball.

Is that true?

"One thousand percent," said Prescott, unequivocally. " …Neither unit is [a little brother] and we're ready to go out there and play against other people."

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