Call this one a no-brainer.
The New York Giants had been one of five teams eligible for this year’s “Hard Knocks” episode. But so was the Dallas Cowboys, which HBO ultimately chose because, well, they’re the Cowboys.
The training camp series will be produced (as usual) by New Jersey-based Mount Laurel, NFL Films. This will be the third time that NFL Films has turned its cameras on the Cowboys for “Hard Knocks”. Dallas was also featured in 2002 and 2008. By The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“There were a few teams that were in full discussion, both on the roster and off the roster,” NFL Films vice president Ken Rodgers told CBS Sports. “In the end, it’s like a calculation. It really becomes a three-way partnership between the team, HBO, and NFL Films. And the Cowboys felt like the right team this year. … What better way to bounce back from the difficult 2020 in the United States? America has had a difficult 2020. America’s game has had a tough 2020 and “Team America” has had a tough 2020.
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According to NFL.com, teams can avoid being selected for the “Hard Knocks” if they meet one of the following three qualifications:
- They have a first year head coach.
- They have a playoff berth for the past two seasons.
- They have appeared on “Hard Knocks” for the past 10 years.
Based on those criteria, NFL.com reported that there were five nominees for this year’s show:
Here is HBO’s press release officially announcing the decision:
HBO Sports and NFL Films team up with “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys, for an unfiltered look at what it takes to be successful in the National Football League in HARD KNOCKS: THE DALLAS COWBOYS. This season’s five-part series chronicles training camp with the NFC East franchise five-time Super Bowl champion and begins on TUESDAY AOT. 10 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET). Other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest shows on television – debut on subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating with the season finale. September 7.
HARD KNOCKS will have reminders on Wednesday nights and will be available on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
HARD KNOCKS: THE COWBOYS OF DALLAS to mark 16th annual Sports Emmy 18 times® Award-winning series and the most acclaimed serialized sports series on television.
“We’re thrilled that Hard Knocks is returning this summer and thrilled to be back in the NFC East and Dallas Cowboys franchise,” said Jonathan Crystal, vice president of HBO Sports. “We are more than grateful to the Cowboys for opening their doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with one of the truly iconic franchises in the sports world as they prepare for the season ahead. . “
Film crews will travel to the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Over the next few weeks to begin filming, with the action heating up in August when the Truth movie show focuses on everyday life. and the routines of the players. and coaches. This season of HARD KNOCKS marks the Cowboys’ third appearance in the series, having previously premiered in 2002 and 2008. HARD KNOCKS: THE DALLAS COWBOYS will be narrated by Liev Schreiber, marking his 15th season with the series.
“The Cowboys are one of the most legendary franchises in NFL history and a team that has received strong reactions from fans around the world,” said Ken Rodgers, vice president, senior coordinating producer at NFL Films. “Tens of millions of fans love them, but just as many people love to hate them. Either way, when the Cowboys show up, people are watching, which makes them perfect for Hard Knocks. This year, their prominent status as “Team America” is coupled with some particularly interesting storylines. We cannot thank Mr. Jones and Coach McCarthy enough for allowing us to tell the story behind what we hope will be the start of an exciting year in Dallas.
The Cowboys enter the 2021 NFL season looking to improve on their third place finish from last year in the NFC East. In the second year under head coach Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys anxiously await the return of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott under center to lead Dallas’ powerful attack that includes the running back. Ezekiel Elliott and wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb CeeDee. Defensively, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn leads an impressive squad that includes Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and first-round pick Micah Parsons.
A 30-person team from NFL Films will be at the Cowboys’ training camp at Oxnard, shooting over 1,750 hours of footage during the series. The film and sound teams will have free access to the players ‘and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and training grounds.
Last year, “Hard Knocks” put the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers under the microscope, marking the first time the series has focused on two teams at the same time.
Here’s a look at the previous seasons of “Hard Knocks”:
- Baltimore Ravens (2001)
- Dallas Cowboys (2002)
- Kansas City Chiefs (2007)
- Dallas Cowboys (2008)
- Cincinnati Bengals (2009)
- New York Jets (2010)
- Miami Dolphins (2012)
- Cincinnati Bengals (2013)
- Atlanta Falcons (2014)
- Houston Texans (2015)
- Los Angeles Rams (2016)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2017)
- Cleveland Browns (2018)
- Oakland Raiders (2019)
- Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers (2020)
- Dallas Cowboys (2021)
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