Each year, HBO follows an NFL team through training camp and the NFL pre-season, offering behind-the-scenes looks at the facilities and inner workings of the franchise. Last season’s series featured two teams — the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers — as they navigated through an altered off-season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not all teams qualify to be featured in each season of the HBO mini-series. This year, there were four other teams in consideration, including the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers. Teams are exempt from participating in the show if they have a first-year head coach, have qualified for the playoffs over the last two seasons, or if they’ve already been featured on Hard Knocks in the previous 10 years.
There are plenty of big storylines to note for the Cowboys this offseason, which makes them an interesting choice as Hard Knocks enters its 17th season of production. Dak Prescott will look to return to form in 2021 after suffering a gruesome ankle injury that ended what could have been an MVP season. The former fourth-round pick also snagged a 4 year, $160 million deal to make him the second-highest paid quarterback at $40 million per season, behind only Patrick Mahomes.
Plenty of questions linger for the Cowboys franchise as a whole heading into the season. Running back Ezekiel Elliott finished the 2020 NFL season with a career-low 4.4 yards per touch and eight touchdowns as he continues to wade out his 5-year $90 million contract. Will he bounce back to form as one of the league’s top running backs with Prescott back on the field? What should we expect from PFF’s 28th ranked defense with the addition of Micah Parsons in the 2021 NFL Draft?
We’ll soon find out.