Assistant coaches are getting into it with each other. Members of the same position groups are barking at each other. And so are offensive and defensive players.
The Dallas Cowboys have had more spirited practices this week than early on in training camp, and that’s only a good thing to most within the industry. NFL Network’s Michael Irvin loved hearing about defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and defensive tackles coach Leon Lett getting into it with each other during Tuesday’s practice.
For Irvin, that eased some of his concerns about the inexperienced defensive line the Cowboys are going with this season.
Brothers fight and get over it. I messed up a call. That’s not good for the team, so you get that sometimes. But we’re cool. Family fight.
Cowboys defensive end David Irving, who scuffled with DeMarcus Lawrence
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“If you know Leon, he wants to get his work done and make sure you get as good as you can get and get better,” Irvin said. “When he starts standing up for you like that — you see your guy, your coach, it makes you want to play for him.”
The competitive juices continued to flow Wednesday. Linebacker Sean Lee and tight end Geoff Swaim had an extended shoving match, and then a fight broke out between defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving.
“Brothers fight and get over it,” Irving said. “I messed up a call. That’s not good for the team, so you get that sometimes. But we’re cool. Family fight.”
Lawrence and Irving exited the practice field together laughing, and are clearly ready to go against players from another team.
Each registered would-be sacks in team drills and are looking forward to carrying that into the preseason. The Cowboys and Rams face off Saturday.
“Everyone is ready,” Irving said. “We’re pumped. We’re amped.”
Irvin on Dez
Irvin is among the biggest fans of Dez Bryant, and it is easy to see a mutual respect.
Bryant gladly took part in an interview with Irvin following Wednesday’s practice, saying he is ready to return to his Pro Bowl form. Bryant does not plan to be a forgotten man for much longer and is intent on getting back in the conversation for best receiver with the likes of Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.
“He said, ‘For all you haters, I’m still here,’ ” Irvin said. “I love that he’s taking it personally to prove all those so-called haters wrong.”
Irvin went on to commend Bryant on going into his seventh season, a feat some didn’t think would be possible when the Cowboys drafted him out of Oklahoma State in 2010.
“It’s incredible,” Irvin said.
Elliott opens up
Irvin had another interview with running back Ezekiel Elliott, who said more than he has in regards to allegations of domestic abuse that have hung over his head since the start of training camp.
Elliott has maintained his innocence and the Cowboys have stood behind him. But the case remains under review by the Columbus, Ohio, prosecutor’s office and the NFL.
“It’s an ongoing legal matter so I can’t really comment on it too much, but I’m just trying to push everything aside and focus on what’s really important,” said Elliott, who remains sidelined with hamstring tightness.
“Right now, I’m just getting ready for the season and kind of letting all the distractions go. It really hasn’t been that hard, coming out here to Oxnard and being out here at camp for the past couple of weeks to focus up and kind of forget about everything. But it’s still something that’s kind of in my mind until it’s squashed and over.”
The Cowboys claimed G Mike McQueen off waivers from San Diego and cut WR Ed Eagan.