FRISCO, Texas – A smile formed on Jason Garrett's face when asked about his longest-tenured player, tight end Jason Witten, and one of his young leaders on defense, safety Byron Jones, exchanging shoves after a play in team drills Thursday.
It was only minicamp practice, the Cowboys' final team workout for five weeks until their first training camp practice that's scheduled for July 24. But coaches always want to see their players compete – and a little jawing between Witten and Jones showed Garrett his team wants to win every single play, even in mid-June.
"Guys love to compete and that's what they do," Garrett said. "That's why those two guys are really good football players. It matters to them. Everything matters to them. They scratch and claw and fight for every inch. That's a really healthy thing for your football team."
Jones might have a laid-back demeanor off the field, but he has shown a competitive streak covering Witten in practice since his rookie season two years ago.
Witten, of course, is as driven as ever entering his 15th NFL season.
"Just having a little fun. Competitive," Witten said. "It's been chippy all offseason for offense and defense. Just making each other better. He's turning into this player and I'm constantly challenging Byron that I think he can play at that level, (that) he can be one of those guys."