The air was hot, the grass was soft and the guys on the other side of scrimmage wore different uniforms. It was a practice unlike anything the Dallas Cowboys have had this preseason.
The 4 a.m. Pacific time wake-up call was different for the San Diego Chargers, too.
The Cowboys and Chargers spent the first of three days together Thursday with a morning workout on the outdoor fields at Valley Ranch. They'll have a controlled scrimmage at Cowboys Stadium on Friday afternoon, then meet in a preseason game Sunday night.
Both coaches said they were glad to shake things up. Cowboys players considered the heat a necessary evil, while tight end Jason Witten welcomed the return to soft, natural grass after three weeks on artificial turf in San Antonio.