Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy did a lot of pooh-poohing in advance, making it clear he wasn’t interested in his players engaging in “extracurricular activity” with the Rams during their joint practice on Saturday. “A waste of time,” he called it then.
Well, the two teams certainly wasted no time in getting chippy with one another in Oxnard.
Cowboys offensive lineman Connor Williams got into a scuffle with the Rams’ six-time All-Pro Aaron Donald on just the second play of team period play.
Aaron Donald did not like being blocked by Connor Williams and started the first dust up of the practices between the Cowboys and Rams. pic.twitter.com/sGz6KfcukS
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 7, 2021
As the Dallas offense worked from deep in its own territory, Williams and Donald locked up and went to the ground, bringing both squads out to the middle of the field in a hurry.
The situation was defused quickly, but a combative tone lingered for much of the two-hour session. Running back Tony Pollard was seen taking a swing at Rams defender Kenny Young after Young appeared to punch at the ball after forcing Pollard out of bounds. It took several players as well as Rams coach Sean McVay to prevent a fight.
Someone call Dana White at the Cowboys-Rams practice
— PFF (@PFF) August 7, 2021
But that doesn’t mean the two coaching staffs stayed out of things completely. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn did some jawing after a play he thought went beyond the “professional thud” level of physicality McCarthy had outlined previously.
Dan Quinn chirping at a Rams player for a hard hit on a Cowboys player and a few plays later almost a skirmish but nothing to see here.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 7, 2021
But the practice ended up being a success in the eyes of the Cowboys coach, despite the fisticuffs.
“That’s part of it, but overall I thought the work was very good,” he said as per the team website. “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.”
Well enough that he’s scrapped Tuesday’s planned practice session, replacing it instead with a less demanding walkthrough for Friday’s game versus Arizona.
Cowboys have canceled Tuesday’s practice, replacing it with a “mock game” walkthrough instead. No practices for next three days after a busy 48-hour stretch — Hall of Fame Game, travel back to Oxnard and a joint practice vs. Rams.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 8, 2021
Fans who did not get to see the joint session with Los Angeles will want to catch the second episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys. August 17th’s episode will feature footage of the Cowboys-Rams intersquad practice.
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