It's the offseason and it's time to start talking about who will be on Hard Knocks next season. Not even a pandemic could stop the HBO show as they managed to film this past August in Los Angeles with the Chargers despite the state of the world at that time. So it stands to reason that no matter what the NFL decides to do in terms of training camp this summer, Hard Knocks will be there. Somewhere.
As a refresher: teams can refuse to be the subject of Hard Knocks if they have a first-year head coach, have appeared in the playoffs over the last two years, or have been on the show sometime in the last 10 years. Any team that does not have one of those three qualities can have Hard Knocks hoisted upon them and they can't do anything about it. There are a few teams the league can force to be on Hard Knocks, and there are others who might be interested in doing it anyway despite having one of the three prerequisites above. The Jacksonville Jaguars might be one of those with Trevor Lawrence coming in, Urban Meyer trying to navigate professional waters for the first time, and the fact that they have never been featured on the show.
But do you know who cannot turn down Hard Knocks for the first time in a long time? I assume you do, because it's in the title. That's right. The Dallas Cowboys qualify as a team who could be on Hard Knocks.
The last time the Cowboys were on Hard Knocks, the year was 2002 and everything was different. I certainly do not need to tell you that. The only constant between then and now as far as the organization is concerned is that Jerry Jones is still around.
Which is why we need the Cowboys on Hard Knocks in this modern day and age. Jones with a camera in his face for weeks will drive The Big Lead's content engine like the most effective fossil fuel ever seen. Dak Prescott will be returning from injury, maybe with a smile on his face after signing a big-ass contract, but also maybe a grim expression as he plays another year on the franchise tag with no long-term financial security. Mike McCarthy smashed watermelons for his players last season. It doesn't get much better than this.
Jones has so much influence within the league office that he would have to green-light this for it to go through. But I would bet a million dollars that Jones has definitely said, out loud, "All publicity is good publicity" at least once. The Cowboys must be on Hard Knocks this year. If only so we could potentially get an explanation, or at least an elaboration, on his metaphor involving owls, chickens, and sex.