Expect a couple of things when the Cowboys and Chargers square off Thursday at Valley Ranch. It'll be hot, and it'll be heated. Temperatures will soar and tempers will flare, probably because of it.
Any time two teams get together for practice, where there are no 15-yard penalties as consequences, expect a fight or six to break out. And factor in temperatures that will reach close to 100 degrees – even at the 9 a.m. start – and I'm sure we'll have a few tense moments.
But it is football. Fights are expected and in some cases, accepted.
The big thing, especially for the Cowboys, is to see how they react to the heat. Yeah, they're three weeks into practices but none of it has been outdoors. And while many of them trained all through the summer, I'm sure the majority of the workouts were air conditioned.
Ready or not, their bodies will be shocked when they hit that heat for the first time.
Talking to some of the team's athletic trainers, it sounds like the players have been fully warned about drinking enough liquids to stay hydrated. Still, it always seems like the players will have to find out for themselves.
So expect a few more cramps come Thursday. One trainer said they will keep a closer eye than usual on the players and their conditioning during the practices.
While it might not be ideal, getting used to the heat is a must. The Cowboys will play in Miami on Sept. 1 and they can definitely expect some steamy conditions for that preseason finale. Fortunately for half the team, they won't be playing.
But it'll be interesting to see how they get through Thursday's practice here at Valley Ranch.