My thoughts from Tuesday’s practice between the Rams and the Cowboys:
1. Dez Bryant is eager to get back on the field. He does a lot in the walk-through practices, taking reps with the first team through the third team. He is itching to go and looks healthy.
2. Dez Bryant’s zest to get back to practice saw him involved in a number of verbal jousts with Rams players. It finally got him in trouble Tuesday when he ran on the field in the middle of the melee without his helmet and took a punch to the face. Bryant was in the middle of a conversation with owner Jerry Jones when he left to run over to join the fight.
3. The beginning of Tuesday’s practice scuffle was actually funny when it started on the side of the field with the Cowboys defense going against the Rams offense. The Cowboys offense was facing fourth-and-goal from the 2. The Rams defense ran to help teammates while Tony Romo and the offense lined up to score. Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis was the lone defender. He kicked the ball out of play and off the line of scrimmage. The Cowboys got it back, and Romo handed it off to Joseph Randle for the easy touchdown.
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4. The fights couldn’t be contained. The melee was much worse than the scuffle against the Oakland Raiders last year. It just keep continuing with different players jumping in and getting slammed to the ground. Players were swinging with their helmets. Not only did an injured Dez Bryant jump in but Rams running back Todd Gurley, who is rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament from college at Georgia, got in on the action. The Rams decided enough was enough, leaving the Cowboys to finish practice alone. The defense put on yellow pinnies to continue practice.
5. Before the fight, the initial highlights of practice were the celebrity visits of former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson and actor/comedian Jamie Foxx, who grew up in the Dallas area and is a huge Cowboys fan.
6. The biggest news of the day beyond the fight was an injury to Cowboys guard Zack Martin, who was All-Pro last year as a rookie. Martin went down with an apparent neck injury. He was on the ground for a long time and in a lot of pain. Owner Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones came down from the Cowboys tower to check on Martin. Quarterback Tony Romo came over as well as several fellow offensive linemen. He was cheered by the fans as he walked off the field with team doctors.
7. The highlights for the Cowboys defense against the Rams offense included a pick by cornerback Tyler Patmon, who got his second one in as many days against quarterback Nick Foles, and a sack by defensive end Greg Hardy.
8. Quarterback Tony Romo started out hot in team drills against the Rams. He didn’t have a ball hit the ground in his first set of 11 on 11. The highlight was a bomb to Terrance Williams who was all alone behind the Rams secondary. Injuries, however, did cause for an interesting mix for the Cowboys. Romo lined up on one play with a collection of targets that included tight end Jason Witten and receivers Devin Street, David Porter and Lucky Whitehead. Romo threw incomplete to Whitehead, who appeared to be in the wrong spot.
9. Running back Darren McFadden might be getting his legs back. He showed a nice burst in taking a draw for touchdown.
10. Receiver Reggie Dunn continued his up and down training camp. He had a dropped pass and fumbled punt.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760