SAN DIEGO –When one team shares a practice field with another, it's typically done for a couple days *before *a preseason game. Due to the schedule, though, nothing has been typical for the Cowboys this preseason.
Since the team played in Oakland Monday night and needed an off day afterward, it didn't make sense to come straight to San Diego to work out with the Chargers. Instead, the joint practices will be held Monday and Tuesday, a first for the Cowboys head coach. One task will be comparatively evaluating the players' performances in the game on Saturday versus the two practices.
"It'll be different," Jason Garrett said. "You'll never be able to recreate, in practice, the tempo and the feel of a game, but it's the reason we get together with other teams, because you want to try to create a competitiveness that's different than going against your own guys."
The Cowboys and Chargers worked out together last year, once at Valley Ranch and once at Cowboys Stadium, before playing a preseason game. Garrett is a disciple of Chargers head coach Norv Turner, the Dallas offensive coordinator early in his career as a backup.
"We really share a lot of the same values in terms of how we practice, so it really went well," Garrett said. "I've been in some situations with these things where you don't practice the same way, everybody's kind of off kilter and out of rhythm, but the practice tempo we have will be upbeat, it'll be competitive, get after each other, but at the same time we'll be respectful of each other in those situations."
While a lot of the Cowboys' players would certainly like to be back home after three weeks on the road, some are seeing a bright side to the extended stay.
"When you practice and then you play in the preseason game, usually you're tired a little bit from practicing," linebacker Sean Lee said. "This time you get the game, you went hard in the game, now you get a day off and we get to go just as hard in practice. I think we'll get more out of it."