Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and star wide receiver Dez Bryant each downplayed the training camp fight Sunday between Bryant and second-year cornerback Tyler Patmon. The two players exchanged punches and had to be physically separated during an 11-on-11 drills after Patmon knocked Bryant’s helmet off.
Bryant tore off Patmon’s helmet off in response, which prompted each player to throw a punch at the other before teammates were able to intervene. Bryant said he and Patmon had argued for several plays before their fight and admitted that he lost his temper.
“I got a little bit overheated. At the end of the day, that’s something that you really need for a team, on a team. I’m just trying to win ball games,” Bryant said after the incident, according to the Associated Press.
Bryant continued to yell at Patmon on the sideline and each threw more punches before quarterback Tony Romo and others walked over to calm them down. Jones, who attended the practice at the Cowboys’ practice facility in Oxnard, California, described the incident as standard training camp fare.
“This was our second day of having this crowd out here and the kind of atmosphere everybody has worked to put together, and that atmosphere breeds that kind of passion,” Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “It breeds that kind of excitement and sure enough here comes some after-the-whistle action. It didn’t surprise me at all. As a matter of fact I was going past a TV screen and just stopped because I forget who it was, it was our network and man you would have thought it was CNN featuring [some] big event going on.”
Practice skirmishes are a common occurrence during NFL training camps, and Bryant has at times clashed with teammates in the past. Teammates had to restrain Bryant on the sideline during an October 2013 loss to the Detroit Lions after Romo failed to throw him a pass until the last minute of the first half.
The Cowboys signed Bryant to a five-year, $70 million contract extension last month. He caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014.