Trash talk, chippiness continue at Cowboys-Raiders practice
OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday's Cowboys-Raiders fight-marred joint workout "was as electric of a practice as I have ever been at in my life.'' What would Wednesday's Round II bring? More fights. An armored police car and more than 60 law-enforcement officials. More electricity. Dez Bryant in charge of trash-talking. And finally, a rewarding day at the beach.
None of Wednesday's scuffles elevated to the point of the Tuesday altercation that featured huge chunks of both rosters and Raiders fans reaching over a fence to take shots at Cowboys players. But the workout -- full-speed but not supposed to be full-contact -- escalated a half-dozen times into violence, which entertained the thousands of fans in attendance.
Those fans, along with reports of gang-related activity, caused Oxnard police to have a presence at the Cowboys facility, including more than 60 officers and an armored car. But a spokesman for the police department said drunkenness was more of a problem than crime.
Defensive Cowboys players Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox and rookie Terrance Mitchell -- the theatrical target of Raiders fans chanting "30 sucks!" -- played with a physical edge for Dallas. Assorted Raiders did the same, many of them in a verbal battle with Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant, who on Tuesday hooted at the Oakland secondary, "I don't even know your name, but you know mine!''
On Wednesday, I asked Bryant about the exchange.
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"All that is is competitive talk, but you can't let them get under your skin, you've got to get underneath theirs,'' Bryant said. "There's a little tactic I use to get them out of their game. Besides, (the Raiders) started it. If you can start it, I hope you can finish it.''
After two hours on Wednesday morning, the session was indeed finished. Both combatants returned to their corners, and as the Raiders departed, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey was charged with making a long field goal that, as is Garrett's custom, would reward the team with an afternoon off at the beach.
"We'll kick our feet up for a little while," Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne said, probably a good idea after two days of two teams kicking each other around.