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August 21, 2012

Cowboys' tight end Szczerba calls today's fight against Chargers "my mistake" that can't be repeated in real game

In a combined practice marked by chippiness and big hits _ most of them levied by members of the San Diego Chargers’ defense _ Cowboys tight end Andrew Szczerba squared off with Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram before coaches and players intervened to separate the two.

Szczerba had been blocking Ingram and Ingram thought he was being held, which triggered the altercation. Both players’ helmets came off in the fray, and the players wrestled one another to the ground before others got involved. Szczerba described it as a “heat of the moment” situation that he cannot repeat in a real game.

“That was my mistake. In a real game, that would have hurt my team,” Szczerba said. “So I won’t do that again.”

Coach Jason Garrett dismissed the incident, as well as a subsequent goal-line hit by Chargers’ cornerback Quentin Jammer that knocked the helmet off Cowboys’ receiver Dwayne Harris, as a byproduct of a spirited practice between teams that have seen enough of one another after Saturday’s game and two combined practices.

Garrett said players and coaches did a nice job of letting things not get out of hand. Szczerba dismissed suggestions that he may have earned respect from teammates who felt the Chargers may have been taking liberties on some plays against Cowboys’ receivers.

“I don’t know. That happens all the time,” Szczerba said. “I don’t think we’re doing that to get respect. It just happens. Two good teams going after each other. Nothing more than that.”

_ Jimmy Burch

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