Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: “We have to emphasize we don’t want this”


If the NFL wanted to get serious about curbing in-camp fights, they had the right people on hand to do something about it.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones and Rams coach Jeff Fisher were there for last night’s melee between the teams during a joint practice, and both expressed the kind of official disapproval you’d expect after practice had to be cut short.

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,” Jones said, via Todd Archer of “But we’re going to have to continue to emphasize that stuff is not what we want. It should not be a part of our game. It’s not good for either team. Obviously, there are huge injury risks. We’ve just got to learn from it. I’d hate to think two teams can’t get together.

“When you see the energy level out here with the fans, they enjoy it, watching the teams play. I do think we can continue to do this. I just think we have to emphasize we don’t want this in our game.”

Of course, defining the “it” the fans enjoy might prove to be a stickier problem. Perhaps there’s just a segment of the fan base (and of the players and coaches) that enjoys it like fights in hockey, or the wrecks in NASCAR. And because of the intense interest these fights draw, it’s hard to be certain the league is really against them (since they’ve done nothing beyond sending a memo of disapproval using many serious words).

“There is no excuse for it,” Fisher said, after parking his team on a side field while the Cowboys finished their work alone. “You can’t blame it on anybody. It just happened. Fortunately, nobody got hurt.”

Actually, you can blame people. There’s plenty of film. It’s easy to see who punched whom.

“You’ve got to catch it early,” Jones said. “There are no right answers. If there were right answers we would address it and get it fixed. It is a point of emphasis. At the end of the day it comes down to fines and sitting people down for games. Certainly, it’s easier to do in a game. How we handle this situation out here, as a competition committee, as a league, as the Dallas Cowboys, Jason [Garrett], Jerry [Jones] and I have to huddle up and say how we’re going to prevent this in the future.”

Or if they want to.

38 responses to “Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: “We have to emphasize we don’t want this”

  1. If they want to stop fights then start punishing players for fighting, it’s that simple. If there were repercussions the players would think twice about fighting.

  2. 5’ 10” Imoan Claiborne may not make the St Louis Rams roster. So Washington, NY Giants and Eagles players have set up a crowd funding site in appreciation of him punching Dez in the face.

  3. What do they expect? You have players that have been in camp in the blazing heat playing against each other and refraining, at times, from fighting their team mates, taking them to scrimmage against another team for the first time. Couple that with the players on the bubble for a roster spot. It would be more surprising if there were not any fights.

  4. Fights happen from time to time in contact sports. The media is latching on to this too much now. Fine the players and move on. The NFL should kick the media and fans out of joint practices if this is how it’s going to be.

  5. If I went to a vendor sales conference and got into a brawl with my competitors, ai’d be fired, arrested, and lose my contract with the vendor.

    How in the world are there no professional or legal ramifications for these actions? I’ve never read an assault or disorderly conduct law that says *except for sportsballmans.

  6. Greg Hardy packin’. It’s a good thing that it didn’t get a lot worse than just a fistfight.

  7. You know that big steel trunk the equipment guy keep the balls in? Well Dallas uses that as sort of a “coat check” for all their players’ guns. It looks like an arsenal for a small regiment. It’s a good thing that it was not near the brawl.

  8. Let’s face it. It’s a chance for players to do some of the things they want to do during the season, but not get punished for it.

    With 4 preseason games a season, inter club practices aren’t really necessary.

  9. Rams Players still butt hurt about that collapse against the Cowboys last year…

    I was in Santorini Greece last year, in a bar, and it just so happened to be on the European Version of NFL coverage.

    Made my trip… What an epic collapse.

    Saw the Boys beat the Saints that next week while I was in Spain. What a awesome trip…

  10. I’m not a Rams apologist and have disliked Jeff Fisher for 15 years, but the same thing happened last year when the Cowboys practiced against the Raiders. What’s the common denominator here?

  11. Its funny the fight started over 2 rookies, Randy Gregory did a dirty tackle on Todd Gurley which started the first fight, then 2 more broke out.

  12. As a Rams fan I’m glad they didn’t back down to the Boys. With that being said I saw the Rams lay a few cheap shots from behind that were quite embarrassing especially from Jared Cook and Eugene Sims. No place for that.

  13. Maybe if you didn’t employ almost every possible player with criminal tendencies and personality disorders these things wouldn’t happen as frequently.

  14. Yesterday I watched footage from the Cowboys/Rams practice and I knew something was going to happen. Dez was right there in the middle of it taunting the Rams’ CB’s and I you could tell something was brewing. And for the Cowboys and Dez Bryant apologist please understand–it only takes 1 person to mess things up for everyone.

  15. Yeah, Mr. Jones. You sure have made it clear to Dez how he is supposed to behave. He always seems to be in the middle of it. But he can do whatever he wants. If you get away with beating up your mother, I mean what are they going to punish you for? Get rid of that undrafted free agent. That will send a clear message.

  16. It’s a direct reflection of their coaching. Eagles-Patriots have done joint practices the previous 2 years without resorting to all out brawls. It can be done without much effort. I’m willing to be the Eagles-Ravens joint practices will be rumble free too.

  17. You can not tell a man to turn on and off his emotions and violent aggressive side on and off like a light switch… It does not work like that… Especially when you have men trying to make the team so they can make the roster to take care of their families… That passion and aggression mixed in with limited opportunity breeds this stuff… You have to expect it… If you truly want it to stop it the NFL has to come up with an alternative for the lack of opportunity for the non-stars and players trying to make the cut… Because I can almost guarantee you that most of it is fueled by someone going a little harder so they can make the team… Indeed…

  18. I don’t see how they expect to accomplish a good practice with two teams competing between each other, it’s bad enough they have to compete within each team….but then Cowboys are the most hated and loved in the league…if it’s not envy for being the most talked about, then it’s jealousy for being one the best in the league….

  19. It’s too late now bc you’ve already given this clown his guaranteed money. Only way to stop him is to give him fine and suspension. Dez, is who I’m talking about.

  20. In less then 2 weeks 2 teams from Texas have been in brawls, they sure like to fight down there.

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