The San Diego Chargers hosted the Dallas Cowboys in a rare two-team practice Monday morning. The Chargers then had a team walk-through in the evening.

“The best thing about today is that we see different people in all three phases,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said about practicing with the Cowboys. “Once you practice with each other for a month you get to know each other very well. Just seeing some different styles is a great experience for our guys.”

The two teams practiced together last preseason in Texas. “We had great work with [the Chargers] last year,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We were dying to do it again this year.”

The mutual respect carried over to the field, and there were no scuffles between the two teams. “We both have a good understanding that we are out here to work and we are out here to get better,” OLB Shaun Phillips said. “We are not enemies out there.”

What stood out: Everything was cranked up a notch. “It’s a little upbeat,” RB Ronnie Brown said of practicing against another team. “You’ve got different guys from a different team, so it’s easy to get going -- and that competitive side comes out a little more knowing that it’s not your guy that you’re going up against. So it’s helpful.”

QB Philip Rivers and WR Robert Meachem connected more than at any other practice in training camp. “It was good,” Rivers said. “For all the people that are quick to jump on Robert Meachem and my progress, during practice today we connected on about 15 balls. Things are improving.” Rivers has been intercepted twice throwing to Meachem in preseason.

The first-team defense practiced better than it played against the Cowboys first-team offense on Saturday night. ILB Takeo Spikes said the defensive players were able to apply what they learned from watching game film to practice.

Position battles: OLB Melvin Ingram blew up a running play. Ingram is behind Jarret Johnson on the depth chart and has already demonstrated great pass rushing abilities through the first two preseason games. Johnson only has four sacks in the last two seasons but is known for his ability to stop the run. Ingram will likely start over Johnson if he can continue to shut down running plays.

Injury updates: DE-DT Garrett Brown (left foot in boot), RB Curtis Brinkley (strain), DT Antonio Garay (left foot), CB Marcus Gilchrist (hamstring), RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle), WR Eddie Royal (leg) and G Johnnie Troutman (pectoral) worked out on the side and did not practice. Also did not practice: WR Vincent Brown (ankle), G-T Brandyn Dombrowski (foot, cyst) and LT Jared Gaither (back spasms).

RB Curtis Brinkley was an unexpected new addition to the non-participants list. “He has a little bit of a strain coming out of the game,” Turner said. “I think he will practice in the next couple of days.”

CB Shareece Wright strained his left hamstring in practice and it was wrapped in ice, but Wright participated in the evening walk-through.

TE Dante Rosario (unknown) and WR Richard Goodman (unknown) returned to full participation.

Turner hopes WR Eddie Royal will return to practice by Wednesday.

What’s next: The Chargers will host the Cowboys again Tuesday. The practice is closed to the public.

Follow the Chargers and Dan McLellan on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLSD and @sandiegosports.