The thinking behind an NFL joint practice is for steel to sharpen steel and teams to get better.
However, there was just too much friction between the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams on Tuesday to accomplish that. The teams had to cut short a second joint practice session after two brawls broke out.
The fights were so disruptive that it left Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, who also sits on the NFL's Competition Committee, wondering how the league can prevent brawling in the future, regardless of whether it happens during the preseason or regular season.
"I can't imagine that we can't continue to have joint practices and get this right just like we do a lot of things," Jones told ESPN. "But we're going to have to continue to emphasize that stuff is not what we want. It should not be a part of our game. It's not good for either team. Obviously, there are huge injury risks. We've just got to learn from it. I'd hate to think two teams can't get together.
"When you see the energy level out here with the fans, they enjoy it, watching the teams play. I do think we can continue to do this," he added. "I just think we have to emphasize we don't want this in our game."
The first fight was sparked by Cowboys linebacker Andrew Gachkar and Rams center Demetrius Rhaney and eventually spilled into several players from both sides joining the fracas. A helmet-less Dez Bryant got punched by Rams cornerback Imoan Claiborne. Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley, who is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was also involved.
This incident occurred two weeks after Bryant got into a training camp fight with teammate Tyler Patmon.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and Rams coach Jeff Fisher mutually decided to end practice.
"There is no excuse for it," Fisher said. "You can't blame it on anybody. It just happened. Fortunately, nobody got hurt."
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(Photo: Max Faulkner/TNS via ZUMA Wire)
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