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Jason Witten, Byron Jones make sure final offseason practice not a breeze

FRISCO, Texas -- Not three plays into team drills, Jason Witten and Byron Jones showed everybody that the final day of the Dallas Cowboys' minicamp was not going to be an end-of-school breeze.

Witten, the 10-time Pro Bowler, and Jones, the starting free safety, got into a brief shoving match that did not rise above anything resembling a fight but showed the spirit Jason Garrett likes to see in practice.

"Just having a little fun, competitive, you know," Witten said. "It's been chippy all offseason between the offense and defense. Just making each other better. He's turning into this player and I'm constantly challenging Byron that I think he can play at that level. I think he can be one of those guys. It's good to have those competitions and get him fired up a little bit. Great stage to do it."

Jones had his best day of the offseason. He broke up a slant to Brice Butler to end the first 11-on-11 period. Later he broke up a Dak Prescott throw to Witten down the middle of the field and a deep ball to Butler down the sideline.

But the Witten head-to-head garnered the most attention after practice.

"We were just having fun. Just a little fun out there," Jones said. "One more day to compete so why not make it good."

With free-agent losses in the secondary and a young defense overall, Jones is being asked to do more on the field and as a leader. Standing up to Witten, even if the brouhaha meant little, was a sign.

"Yeah, he’s taking a nice swing at it,” Witten joked.

The dust-up made Garrett happy.

"Guys love to compete and that's what they do," Garrett said. "That's why those two guys are really good football players. It matters to them. Everything matters to them. They scratch and claw and fight for every inch. That's a really healthy thing for your football team."