London-bound teams trade blows


Two London-bound NFL teams got into one of the feistier training camp brawls of the summer on Tuesday as the Oakland Raiders visited the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason base in Oxnard, California.

It’s just a shame the two teams are not meeting at Wembley Stadium this year or that would have the potential to be a very spicy affair.

The Raiders play in the first game in London at the end of September when they take on the Miami Dolphins. And the Cowboys round out the trio of London matches in November when they clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The ugly brawl broke out after a hard tackle by Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne on Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera. But this fight broke out close to the crowd on the sidelines and, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, an over-zealous Raiders fan took some brave pills and swung his souvenir helmet at Dallas defensive back B.W. Webb.

Webb said:

“It’s definitely a dangerous situation. I don’t know why fans would want to jump on this side of the fence. I don’t think they’d like it too much on this side.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis seemed happy with the practice session and was not too disappointed in the Oakland supporter who took a swing at a member of the opposition, joking: “Nothing better than Raider fans.”

It should be pointed out at this stage that Dallas’ defensive backs are currently being tutored by British intern coach and London Warriors defensive coordinator Aden Durde. Aden is obviously installing some toughness in that unit!

I had spoken to Aden ahead of yesterday’s joint workout with the Silver and Black and he told me:

“Everything is going really well here. The Raiders are coming in today so I’m looking forward to spending some time with (Raiders British defensive end) Jack Crawford. That will be really cool.”

And that should be the real story coming out of the first of these combined workouts between two iconic NFL franchises.


When the Raiders and Cowboys stepped onto the practice field on Tuesday, Great Britain was well represented. Aden Durde was coaching for Dallas and the Raiders’ roster consisted of British offensive tackle Menelik Watson and the aforementioned Crawford.

Add London-born former head coach and offensive guru Al Saunders, who is working as an offensive consultant for the Silver and Black, and you have quite the British crew in California.

One final comment on the video of that camp fight and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying! When Claiborne was taken to the ground by a swarm of angry Raiders players (check around the 17-second mark on the video), one of the first to dive on top of him was Oakland’s number 71.

Get in there, Menelik !!

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