Cowboys prepared for third appearance on 'Hard Knocks'
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys prepared for third appearance on 'Hard Knocks'

The Dallas Cowboys are set to become the first NFL team to be featured for a third time on the HBO series "Hard Knocks," and from the sound of it, they didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

According to executive vice president Stephen Jones, the Cowboys were basically told by the league they would be featured on the popular series.

"Jerry (Jones) was at the league meetings and we kind of got informed we were doing it," Stephen Jones revealed. "It wasn't really a lot of asking."

While Jerry Jones himself very openly enjoys when he and the team are in the spotlight, this probably isn't a time the Cowboys want a bunch of cameras around. Dallas is coming off its second straight season without a playoff run and doesn't know yet how star quarterback Dak Prescott will perform after missing most of last season with a dislocated right ankle.

There will also be a decent spotlight on Mike McCarthy as he enters his second season with the Cowboys trying to improve on the 6-10 record the team posted under his coaching in 2020.

There may be some superstition at play here as well. The Cowboys missed the playoffs the two previous years they were on "Hard Knocks," going 5-11 in 2002 and missing out on postseason play with a 9-7 record in 2008 amid major locker room turmoil.

Nevertheless, Stephen Jones insists appearing on the show will fire the Cowboys up.

"We feel a lot of buildup, including 'Hard Knocks,' is a good thing to get people fired up about reconnecting and rolling," he said. 

Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

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