The LA Rams and Dallas Cowboys held a joint practice on Saturday — read the notes about what happened here — and one of the main intentions going in for both sides was to avoid fighting like they did when they last did this in 2015. No such luck.
There were a couple of skirmishes on Saturday, though neither of them were nearly as costly or serious as the one that immediately brought the 2015 practice to a close.
Rams DT Aaron Donald vs Cowboys G Connor Williams
The main attraction was Donald vs Williams, the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft. Though most attention goes to potential Hall of Famer Zack Martin, Williams has started 37 games at left guard over the last three years, including his first full 16-game season in 2020. While I am not an expert on how Williams has performed lately, he seems to be more than holding his own and he ended up playing more than adequately against Donald during Saturday’s scrimmage.
The two first faced off in a couple of pass rushing drills, with Williams drawing a cheer from the crowd over one “win” against Donald. Next, the teams put the Cowboys 1s on offense vs the Rams 1s on defense, and on the second play from scrimmage, Williams and Donald were locked and on the precipice of a brawl.
The whole situation was resolved in under a minute, ending with Sean McVay seemingly telling Donald to keep it cool. The two were involved in another short tussle later, but it was barely noticeable. Hard to believe that Williams took down the former wrestler Donald in that video. Given a chance to be aware that a wrestling match was about to go down, I expect Donald would give us a different result.
Rams LB Kenny Young vs Cowboys RB Tony Pollard
The less talked about fight of the day was hardly worth mentioning, but at first seemed like it could have had much more damage than Donald v Williams.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard was running up the Rams sideline on one play, getting tackled by Young out of bounds. The two were locked together, similar to Donald and Williams, but Young eventually broke free, though Pollard seemed intent on finishing what had been started.
The Rams linebacker walked away and seemed to even notice that Pollard wanted more, so he jogged away as Pollard’s teammates got between them to make sure nothing more happened.
LA and Dallas were hoping to avoid a fight altogether, but they got into a few minor ones. That honestly feels like the actual intended goal. It would be weird if they were completely pleasant to each other and got along the whole time. Nobody got hurt, but I’d say each of those players came away from Saturday with a lesson learned.