OXNARD, Calif. – When teams practice against each other at training camp, the last day is typically has the most intensity, which means the most fights.
Tuesday's practice with the Cowboys and Rams was absolutely no exception. In fact, the fights were so intense that both coaches decided to cut the joint practice short.
The Cowboys went back to their field and continued practice with each other as a regular day. Meanwhile, the Rams sat down for a few minutes before exiting the opposite end zone and loaded up on the busses.
While most of the players and coaches said it was good work despite all of the fights, there was major disappointment from the Cowboys' front office, which actually found themselves in the middle of the fights at one point.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, who was next to Jerry, when the fights escalated towards the middle of the field.
"I hate it," Stephen Jones said. "At the end of the day we know why it happens. It's grown men out there fighting hard to make a football team. Energy levels are high. Jeff (Fisher) nor Jason (Garrett) are pleased with it. The fact that it came to that isn't something we're proud of. Our players aren't proud of it. It's something we don't want in our game."
Like all fights on the field, it starts with two or three players, but after a few minutes, nearly 100 players from both teams were in the middle of it, including several Cowboys players without a helmet.
Last year the Cowboys and Raiders had similar brawls and around the league this year, the Redskins and Texans had a big scuffle as well.
Stephen Jones said fights are expected, but it doesn't mean teams and/or the league can't step in and create some consequences.
"If that were to happen in a game it would not be good news," Jones said. "There would be a lot of people sitting down and a lot of fines. Those guys are fighting hard. We've been in camp for three weeks now. Those things do happen but it's certainly something we don't want in our game."
One of the Cowboys fighting without a helmet was cornerback Tyler Patmon, who made headlines earlier in camp with his on-field fistfight with Dez Bryant. Patmon said he wasn't sure how the fights started, but knew he had to get in there.
"I'm not sure what started any of that. I just know at the end of the day we're going to have each other's back," Patmon said. "Whenever something like that happens we have to be there for our teammates. All you're thinking about is having your teammates' back, and that's all that matters."
- The Rams decided to cancel their Wednesday practice in Oxnard, while the Cowboys will have a day off. The decision was made before Tuesday's practice.
- One guy who made sure not to participate in the fight was defensive end Greg Hardy, who has made headlines for the wrong reasons this past year. Hardy made a point to run away from the fracas with a smile on his face.
- Linebacker Sean Lee missed his second practice in three days but the Cowboys are far from concerned. "No setbacks," Stephen Jones said. "Everything's just management with most of these guys."
- Academy-award winner Jamie Foxx was one of many celebrities in attendance Tuesday, along with Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Modern Family co-star Ty Burrell.
Terrance Williams – Williams clearly answered the call on Dez Bryant's challenge to play with more intensity. As the Cowboys' top wide out, he enjoyed a strong day of practice with several key catches. It began in one-on-ones, when he skied over Trumaine Johnson for a contested touchdown on a fade route. He also added a touchdown on a shallow post in full-team work. But the highlight of his day came in the team run period, when Tony Romo hit him on a play action pass for a long gain down the middle of the field.
Darren McFadden – Tuesday was McFadden's first day mixing into 11-on-11 work, and he looked impressive doing it. The veteran looked decisive hitting holes for solid pickups, and he managed to make solid yardage even in a practice without live hitting. He also showcased his value as a receiver, as Romo found him several times. On a 3rd-and-Goal from the 12, Romo found him in the flat, and he took the ball down to the one-yard line.
Tyler Patmon – Before he got involved in the fight that ended practice, Patmon had a strong day in the Dallas secondary. He fended off St. Louis in one-on-one drills. Moreso than that, he came up with a big win for the Cowboys defense when he intercepted Nick Foles in full-team drills against the St. Louis offense.
Play of the Day
The most impressive play of the day had to be Williams' diving catch from Romo. But if there was one play that told the story of Tuesday's practice, it was Darren McFadden's goal line touchdown against the Rams. Why was it so important? Because the Cowboys' first-team offense lined up against St. Louis linebacker James Laurinaitis – and no one else. Right before the ball was snapped, the first of several fights broke out on the opposite field, and 10 of 11 Rams defenders raced off to join the fray. With only Laurinaitis to man the defense, McFadden walked in for an easy touchdown.
Aug. 16 – Signed WR David Porter
Aug. 16 – Released WR George Farmer
OT Tyron Smith (biceps)
CB Orlando Scandrick (knee)
G Zack Martin (stinger)
S Barry Church (ribs)
WR Cole Beasley (sore Achilles)
TE Gavin Escobar (head)
LB Sean Lee (rest)
CB Byron Jones (shoulder)
LB Anthony Hitchens (foot)
G Ron Leary (back)
DE Tyrone Crawford (back)
TE James Hanna (knee)
RB Gus Johnson (shoulder)
DT Nick Hayden (ribs)
WR Dez Bryant (ankle)
WR Antwan Goodley (hamstring)
CB Brandon Carr (hand)
DE Kenneth Boatright (neck)
DT Terrell McClain (bone bruise/hamstring)
OL Chaz Green (hip)
LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)
LB Rolando McClain (knee)
Wednesday, August 19
No availability (players off)
Thursday, August 20
12:00 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett Press Conference
3:45 p.m. (PDT) Practice