Dallas

Fists Fly at Cowboys, Rams Practice in California

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The Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams cut short the second of two joint practices at training camp Tuesday after several fights broke out, including one where Dallas receiver Dez Bryant was punched in the face.

The practice at the Cowboys' camp facility in Oxnard ended about 30 minutes earlier than expected after the skirmishes on the field where the St. Louis offense and Dallas defense were scrimmaging.

"We got through a day and three quarters then things got out of hand and we shut it down," said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. "It's unfortunate. There's no excuse for it."

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"If that would've happened in a game, it wouldn't have been good for either team," said Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones. "We have to learn from it."

The third fight between the Cowboys and Rams included the punch on Bryant and ended the practice. It wasn't clear who threw the punch. Dallas cornerback Tyler Patmon, who fought with Bryant earlier in camp, had several red marks on his face.

"It was just a couple of teams being competitive," Rams running back Tre Mason said. That's football."

Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis said he was trying to make a defensive call when he noticed several teammates had left his field and run toward the first fight.

"There's a fine line between defending yourself, so to speak, versus instigating it," Laurinaitis said. "You want to defend your teammates, but you never want it to turn into that. I'm just glad nobody got hurt."

It was the second time in less than two weeks that a joint practice had to be cut short because of fights. On Aug. 8, Houston and Washington ended the mixed portion of a practice after several fights on both fields.

"I hate it. At the end of the day we know why it happens," said Jones, who is on the NFL's competition committee. "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. But we're going to have to continue to emphasize that stuff is not what we want."

A security guard later found one of Bryant's diamond earrings, which he lost during the fight, and returned it to the Cowboy's star wide receiver after practice.

Schuyler Dixon and Greg Beacham of The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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