But what ensued was a physical and chippy practice that included some scuffles, punches and a few questionable cheap shots.
It seemed to start in a team drill between the Cowboys' offense and Chargers' defense. Rookie TE Andrew Szczerba and San Diego first-round pick Melvin Ingram traded punches and then wrestled each other to the ground with Szczerba's helmet flying off at the bottom of the pile that included about 10 players.
A few plays later, Chargers S Eric Weddle delivered a shot to the head of Cowboys' rookie WR Danny Coale over the middle. And then it culminated with a vicious shot by Chargers CB Quentin Jammer, who blasted WR Dwayne Harris over the middle.
Remember, it was a nontackling practice that was supposed to include wrap-ups without taking anyone to the ground. After Jammer's hit on Harris, most players from both sides of the ball started jawing and had to be separated by the coaching staffs.
“That happens when you get two teams out there and trying to compete … it's football,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “We had a few scuffles out there. But you want to make your guys handle it the right away. It's good to get emotional and want to stick up for your teammates.”
One of the Cowboys' players who had the most problems with the events seemed to be FB Lawrence Vickers, who is rather outspoken despite being in his first season with the Cowboys.
“I was teed off to the max, but at the same time, I have to listen to my coaches,” Vickers said. “I have to let my coach know, in any situation, ‘Vick' can keep his head. I wanted to lose my cool. I did, I'm not lying. Because that type of (expletive) is not tolerated. We're not going to tolerate that type of stuff. That's the mentality we got. That's the mentality we're going to have. That is not tolerated!”
One of the reasons the Chargers' defense might have been frustrated stemmed from the Cowboys' success Tuesday. The offense converted several big plays, and scored on all of the goal-line drills, doing so without WRs Dez Bryant (knee) and Miles Austin (hamstring), TE Jason Witten (abdomen) and C Phil Costa (back).