Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys plan to set tone vs. Rams

Lance Dunbar says the Cowboys want to set the tone vs. the Rams. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)
Lance Dunbar says the Cowboys want to set the tone vs. the Rams. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner) Star-Telegram

The Dallas Cowboys pride themselves on being a physical football team, both offensively and defensively.

That’s become evident with a few heated scuffles between the offense and defense so far in camp, and those competitive juices are going to carry into the pair of scrimmages against the Rams on Monday and Tuesday.

“I’m pretty sure they’re probably not used to how we practice,” running back Lance Dunbar said. “Our defense practices real hard; offense practices real hard. We’re real physical, so we’re probably going to set the tone in practice.”

That is something coach Jason Garrett would like to see, of course, but not at the expense of it becoming more about fights than football.

Garrett has made it clear that he wants this two-day scrimmage to help improve the football team. The scrimmage Monday intends to focus heavily on each teams’ two-minute and red zone packages.

“Skirmishes have been a part of football since I’ve played, and I know they’re a part of it well before I ever showed up,” Garrett said. “That’s the nature of it, you try to create competitive situations on your team and sometimes you have these guys competing to win and these kinds of things happen. How you handle those situations is critical, you have to get it behind you quickly and focus on the next task at hand.

“Whenever we bring another team in, our objective is not to fight. Sometimes when you’re competing, those things happen, again try to handle them the right way and move on.”

As far as competition, the best might be the Cowboys’ offensive line going against the Rams’ defensive line.

“They have an unbelievable front and a great defense, so it’s going to be a great test for us on offense,” guard Zack Martin said. “We’ve been in camp a while now, so it’ll be nice to get a fresh group out there.”