OXNARD, Calif. – That was fun, to put it simply.
The energy changes when another team gets involved, and that's what happened Saturday evening when the Rams drove up the road from Los Angeles.
Across two hours, both teams got after each other in a variety of different environments. Offense and defense competed in red zone drills, individual settings, seven-on-seven and some extended team periods.
It got feisty. Cowboys and Rams were jawing at each other throughout the day. Aaron Donald and Connor Williams even wound up in a scuffle on the second play of team period – an ironic turn of events, given Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy's focus on avoiding extracurriculars.
"That's part of it, but overall I thought the work was very good," he said. "I think you clearly see what we were able to accomplish with the Hall of Fame Game and then coming here 48 hours later. This will be great tape for us. I like where we are in the training camp process."
Here are some more notes and observations from the practice fields:
- The scuffle came with the Cowboys' offense trying to get off of its own goal line. Connor Williams and Aaron Donald got tangled up on the play and wound up on the ground. The ensuing wrestling match brought both teams out to the middle of the field, but cooler heads prevailed before it got too intense. Williams and Donald went each other in two tightly-contested one-on-one reps just moments prior, so it wasn't too surprising to see them locking horns again.
- This should sound familiar by now, but CeeDee Lamb once again shined. Particularly in the red zone portion of the day, Lamb took it to the Rams' secondary. He got open over the middle of the field and on the boundary, coming away with at least five catches on the afternoon.
- Those throws were all coming from Garrett Gilbert, who had a nice day of practice himself. In addition to Lamb, Gilbert also found Michael Gallup (twice) and Rico Dowdle for touchdowns during red zone period. Gallup's second touchdown might have been the play of the day, as he skied over Darious Williams for a jump ball.
- The Rams got their fair share of wins. During the middle portion of practice, Jalen Ramsey made life plenty difficult on the Cowboys' receivers, as he managed to poke away passes intended for Cedrick Wilson and Michael Gallup. Ramsey brought the intensity level of practice up a few notches, as he was regularly talking trash back and forth with Cowboys players on the way back to the huddle.
- The Cowboys' offensive line combinations were intriguing. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin were held out of the one-on-one portion of practice, but they did get plenty of work during team period. Connor Williams also got plenty of reps, as he flopped between center and left guard once again. Williams actually got his first starting reps at center, though that was limited to about a series or so.
- Cornerback Maurice Canady continues to make plays. Saturday, he had arguably the best interception of practice, picking off Matthew Stafford from the middle of the field. Stafford was running to his left and then threw back against his body to a tight end over the middle, but Canady was able to spin around just in time to snag the pass for what would be yet another interception in practice this camp.
- The Cowboys had some injuries that popped up in the middle of practice, including defensive end Tarell Basham, who had an ankle injury. Neville Gallimore also limped off in what appeared to be a lower-leg injury. Cornerback Kyron Brown left practice early with a hamstring injury. Brown was coming off a solid game Thursday night in which he made two tackles for loss.