Jason Garrett stated that he hoped to see only football, not fights, when the Cowboys and Raiders practiced together. Players apparently forgot that message once drills got underway.
An all-out brawl broke loose against the Cowboys’ defense and Raiders’ offense during team drills. Cornerback Morris Claiborne form tackled Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera, and then taunted the Raiders fans briefly.
That didn’t sit well with Raiders receiver Greg Little, who got into Claiborne’s face and it didn’t take long for a fight to break out.
“It was just one of those things where it’s a thud practice,” Claiborne said. “In the open field, it’s hard to kind of thud and it’s hard to kind of get a judgment off that. But when [Rivera] dropped his shoulder, I thought that was my cue to go in for the tackle.”
Claiborne ended up at the bottom of the pile during the melee, saying he only hoped nobody would take of his helmet or land on his knee. He had been dealing with a right knee injury since July 31.
“I was trying to make sure no one got on my knee,” Claiborne said. “That was my main focus.”
Another fight broke out on the opposite field when Raiders linebacker Justin Cole ripped off Cowboys fullback J.C. Copeland’s helmet. That scuffled didn’t last as long as the first and was broken up relatively quickly.
Asked if he thought about shutting down practice after the second fight, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: “I don’t know about that. Seriously, this was great. Great enthusiasm, atmosphere. It was hard to believe that this was a practice.”