The Dallas Cowboys’ first joint practice with the Denver Broncos was chippy, and it appears the team’s work with the Los Angeles Chargers has been no different.
Joint practices often lead to arguments and fights, which is part of the goal: to build up competitive energy and prepare the team for the long, grueling NFL season. With that said, the latest tiff at a Cowboys practice comes through Dallas tackle Terence Steele and Chargers defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day.
Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken filmed the altercation, which came after Steele continued to block the former Los Angeles Rams defender after the whistle. Joseph-Day then throws and connects on a punch to Steele’s helmet.
Steele takes the fist, and then actually walks closer to Joseph-Day to say something up close. However, the incident ended there as the two teams retreated to their huddles.
From the Cowboys’ perspective, fans seem split. While not engaging in a fight is typically encouraged, certain supporters believe that Steele should’ve retaliated.
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Dallas Fans Split on if Steele Was ‘Soft’
In terms of fans in Steele’s corner, @REALANTOINEFAIR points out that the Chargers defender wasn’t reprimanded or benched by his team. The fan thinks that only the Cowboys are expected to follow “the rules.”
“And chargers coach did nothing huh… cause we are the only ones who have to follow rules,” the user wrote.
Meanwhile, @AlanAdkins referenced an old quote from an offensive line coach to explain that Steele walked out of the situation on top.
“as an OL, you know you are doing your job when you frustrate and even piss off the DL. an OL coach once referred to DL frustration as; ‘the whip-cream and cherry on your satisfaction sundae,'” the fan shared.
“Not sure how I feel about lack of response..I mean you won the rep do your talk with your play but then just took a punch,” the Cowboys fan replied.
On one hand, Steele avoided any major altercation by not fighting back. Those moments can lead to unnecessary injuries or suspensions. On the other hand, it does seem like a tame response to an opponent throwing a punch at your face.
Steele Entering a Major Year
When the Cowboys added Steele as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL draft, no one expected the former Texas Tech Red Raider to start 14 games as a rookie. But injuries presented an opportunity, and Steele took it.
He built on his rookie success by starting 13 games in 2021, forcing Dallas to make tough decisions with Tyron Smith at left tackle and La’el Collins at right tackle. While those two were still the preferred starters last season, an injury to Smith and a suspension for Collins again gave Steele plenty of playing time.
Now, Collins has been released and Dallas has fully committed to Steele as the starting right tackle. The 25-year-old offensive lineman will be facing more pressure to perform than ever before, both from the team and the player himself.
Steele is getting paid a total $895,000 this season, and his UDFA contract total is just $2.3 million, per Spotrac. That’s great value for the Cowboys, but this is a vital season for Steele to prove he’s worth a long-term deal.