It’s time to put the Dallas Cowboys through some Hard Knocks. On Friday, NFL Films and HBO confirmed that America’s Team will be the featured squad for the popular docuseries.
Basically, it was the Dallas Cowboys’ turn. Although the publicity is wonderful, no head coach or general manager wants to give a TV crew complete access to every part of the franchise. But the NFL has rules so that every team takes a turn under the docu-lights.
Ken Rogers, who is vice president and senior coordinating producer for NFL Films, made the Dallas Cowboys announcement.
In a statement to the media, Rogers said: “The Cowboys are one of the most storied franchises in NFL history and a team that elicits strong reactions from fans around the world. Tens of millions of fans love them, but just as many people love to hate them. Either way, when the Cowboys show up people watch, which makes them perfect for Hard Knocks.
“This year, their high-profile status as “America’s Team” is paired with uniquely interesting story lines.”
Rogers also thanked Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Mike McCarthy, who is in his second year with the team, for opening up the camp. The Cowboys players and free agents gather in Oxnard, California, later this month for training camp. The first of five Hard Knocks episodes begin in August.
This will be the third Hard Knocks appearance for the Dallas Cowboys. No other team has made more than two appearances. The Cowboys were Hard Knocks subjects in 2002 and 2008.
HBO and NFL Films selected the Dallas Cowboys over four other eligible franchises. The Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers also were candidates. Hard Knocks focused on the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers in 2020. Teams can opt-out if there’s a new coach or, if they’ve made the playoffs the last two years. And, if a team has appeared on the show over the past decade, that team can say no.
The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t say no.
There are plenty of storylines for the Dallas Cowboys and most of them revolve around the surgically repaired ankle of quarterback Dak Prescott.
The team finished 6-10 last season, when the entire league dealt with the Covid pandemic. However, an injury in week five effectively toppled the Cowboys playoff plans. Plus, the defense was porous. Surely, Hard Knocks will find a plot line.
Prescott says he’s fully healed from his severe ankle injury.
“We’re going to play more complementary football from defense to offense to special teams,” Prescott told the Dallas NBC affiliate last month. “And then we’re going to have a healthy team. We’ve all approached the offseason. We approached the season the right way. We’re just excited. We’re excited that hopefully, we can stay healthy, we can get good fortune on that end. And we can just put everything we’ve worked hard for together on all stages and all phases of the game.
“We’re excited for this year. It’s going to be very, very special for us and for Cowboys fans.”
And it could all start with the Dallas Cowboys on Hard Knocks. Stay tuned.