Oxnard -- When you're head coach wears a hoodie with the word "FIGHT" across the chest, don't expect him to get too bent out of shape when this when a brawl breaks out.
"You like that," said Garrett of the fights that broke out during the Cowboys second full padded practice of camp, "you'd rather have to dial it back than constantly have to light a fire under your guys. Our guys are very passionate about football. They love to play and they love to work out it."
The work on this day full of tension, that grew steadily throughout the workout and boiled over repeatedly with several skirmishes breaking out.
Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, donning full pads for the first time in camp, was at or near more than his share of flash points.
"The adrenaline was rushing," said Crawford. "I was a little angry about yesterday, sitting back and watching. I guess my emotions got the best of me."
Most of the pushing and shoving went down during pass rush drills.
"I kinda missed some of the one-on-one stuff, but I heard it," said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. "But that's good. That means we got the right kind of guys and they're competing."
The linemen are getting after it!— Joe Trahan (@JoeTrahan) July 27, 2017
A little early in camp for this, right??? pic.twitter.com/HQ5oIYViFm
Fights are nothing new in this setting, but we thought it was a little early in camp for tempers to flare repeatedly. What we found is because they put on the full pads so infrequently nowadays, when they do strap 'em on, players see it as a chance to release some pent up frustration.
"So when you're able to put the pads on it allows people to go full speed and get that energy and sometimes there's a little anger that's pent up and released on those days you have pads," said offensive lineman Travis Frederick.
With the league's leading rusher driving the Cowboys offense, physicality is a must, and they're certainly taking an aggressive approach.
"That's part of being physical," said Frederick, "your hands going to slip and get up in a guy's throat where it's not supposed to. You remove it, but it wasn't fast enough. There's a lot of stuff that goes into it."
Cooler heads eventually prevailed and with one of the best offensive lines in the league, and all the veterans on both lines, there shouldn't be any more made of it.
"There are so many older guys," said Frederick, "we're working together we know that we're a team and we know that we need each other to be able to be successful through the year. So, we're working together to make it better."
Even if working together means kicking each other's butt every now and then.