OXNARD, California — We're at the point at Dallas Cowboys training camp where it becomes like Groundhog Day — seemingly the same things, over and over.
So, a fight during Tuesday afternoon practice came as no surprise. But it may surprise you to hear how the guy who instigated the fight views his sport.
"We're playing football. It's a physical sport," said linebacker Ernie Sims. "I look at it as it's animals in the wild... it's domination... that's what it's all about."
I'm not sure about his "animals in the wild" take, but perhaps that begins to explain why Sims slammed running back Lance Dunbar to the ground twice, sparking up the first real fight so far in training camp.
"Its like two males in the wild: If a male comes to strike at you, you're going to strike back," Sims explained.
Actually, the "wild kingdom" references are nothing new for Sims. A noted animal lover, he at one point owned 20 dogs, 28 different types of reptiles, several horses, and a monkey.
Sims said there's competition at training camp (just like in the wild), and he's surprised players have had only had one dust-up so far.
Then he provided yet another gem.
"Its training camp," Sims said. "That's the reason I asked my wife to come out here, so I can at least see my wife, so I don't have to see these men all the time."
Sims said his favorite animal is the lion, and his prime motivation now is to take care of his pride — his wife and two-year old son.