Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the club was “dying” to work against the San Diego Chargers again after last year’s successful three days in Dallas. While the schedule was a bit different this year, forcing the two teams to practice after Saturday’s preseason game against each other, both teams seemed to handle the change with success on Monday.

Garrett, who played under current Chargers coach Norv Turner as a player in Dallas back in the 1990s, said it helps to have seemingly the same system.

“I think that happens really naturally when you’re working against other teams,” Garrett said after Monday’s practice at Chargers Park. “We have a real similar value system, the Cowboys and the Chargers.”

The teams went through individual drills separately Monday, then combined for the competitive portions of the session, with San Diego’s offense taking on the Cowboys defense on one of the two practice fields, with the Cowboys offense facing the San Diego on the other.

“Throughout the practice -- the run periods, the blitz periods, the one-on-ones -- they were competitive, but I think everybody understood there was a healthy respect for each other,” Garrett said. “The tempo is right. I think both teams are getting a lot out of it.”

Despite playing a physical, 60-minute game Saturday, the teams squared off Monday without any incidents.

“We both talked to our teams,” Turner said. “We don’t want to come out here and have scuffles or fights. We just want to work. I think the players were very respectful in terms of making sure that we took care of each other and still competed, but got something out of the work we did today.”

Rough day for WRs: Not only did the Cowboys suffer a scare with Dez Bryant, who had to leave practice because of a knee injury that MRI results showed to be only tendinitis, but a couple of other younger receivers went down, putting quite a crunch on the depth chart.

Andre Holmes, a player who figures to be in the hunt for a backup spot, had a back injury flare up in practice, causing him to gingerly walk off the field. He’s listed as day-to-day with a low-back strain. Donavon Kemp, a rookie from UTEP, suffered a knee injury as well and had an MRI on Monday evening.

Not to mention Miles Austin, who was working on a hamstring injury, leaving the Cowboys struggling for numbers just to finish practice. Kevin Ogletree and Cole Beasley took most of the reps, as did Dwayne Harris and Raymond Radway.

Ogletree seems to have a solid grasp on the No. 3 spot, being the only player of the non-starters with an NFL catch.

On guard: For the first time in three weeks, free-agent guard Nate Livings practiced with the first-team unit in full pads. Livings, signed away from the Bengals in March, practiced for a week before suffering a hamstring injury.

“It was great to get out there today and just be with the guys again,” Livings said. “That’s really all I was focused on. I think the [athletic] trainers were smart on how much we pushed it. We didn’t want to rush things, but it’s good to be back in there.”

Livings talked about continuity on the line, something that is a must with the regular-season opener just 16 days away.

“We have to get on the same page there, but I think that will come pretty soon,” Livings said. “We’ve had a few guys banged up. Once we all get in there, it should be fine.”

The Cowboys actually worked Derrick Dockery with the first-team unit for some of practice, but it’s likely just to ease Livings back in the mix.

Back to work: The Cowboys had a few other players rolling back into practice Monday, including outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (hamstring) and rookie safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), who said he expects to play Saturday against the Rams. Johnson, a fourth-round pick from Eastern Washington, has yet to play in a game and needs to make a few plays to solidify a roster spot. Also, rookie RB Lance Dunbar (hamstring) also made it back to practice after a two-week absence.

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