When does Hard Knocks air on HBO Max?
"Hard Knocks" premieres Tuesday, Aug. 10 on HBO Max in the United States with new one-hour episodes coming weekly for the duration of training camp and the preseason. Each episode will be available to stream on DAZN in Canada the Thursday after it airs on HBO, making the first episode available on Thursday, Aug. 12. DAZN News US'Hard Knocks' 2021 schedule: How to watch, stream training camp show with Dallas Cowboys on DAZN in Canada
18 August, 2021 - 06:10pm
18 August, 2021 - 06:10pm
America's Team is back, baby. Amid all kinds of Dak Prescott injury news and an unfolding 2021 preseason, the Cowboys returned to TV on Tuesday night for the second episode of this year's edition of "Hard Knocks." HBO's annual training camp series, which runs weekly through Sept. 7 with an inside look at the club's preparations for the new year, marks the third time Dallas has been featured on the show.
Who stood out in Tuesday's second episode? Who needs some work for Episode 3? Here are the winners and losers:
The star running back didn't get a ton of airtime compared to Episode 1, when he was a focal point. But he's easily the most entertaining to watch, in large part because he doesn't take himself too seriously. Consider how he contrasts with Mike McCarthy; yes, the head coach has an entirely different job, but it's much more fun seeing Zeke giggling over sunflower seeds during the Cowboys' preseason game than McCarthy forcing the F-bomb into a toughen-up speech at camp. Thing is, Elliott's goofiness doesn't mean he's not invested, either; no one was more excited for preseason backups rattling off big plays than him.
We keep coming back to the Penn State rookie, only to ever see him straight-faced or mildly irritated over preseason playing time. It's nice that Parson's mom is a loyal cheerleader, but even her presence hasn't given this No. 1 pick a deep or affecting storyline. Oh, and he apparently got schooled in chess by an awkward Ben DiNucci.
What little we finally got of Lamb was some of this season's best stuff: An off-field dedication to candles, like the Sweet Berry Peony in his camp dorm ("I'm high on smells," he quipped); and some of the acrobatic leaping catches that Cowboys fans and reporters have become accustomed to at camp. Lamb's emerging star power is real -- so much so that you would be excused if you forgot Amari Cooper was part of the team until a wordless cameo on the preseason sidelines. Let's hope we get more of CeeDee moving forward.
Broadening this from "Mike McCarthy" so as not to pile on the head man. Look, Mike is probably a great guy, but in terms of reality-show material, well, it says something that Sean McVay's cameo during the Cowboys-Rams joint practice was the most exciting part of Episode 2's staff focus. At least McVay acted like a Jon Gruden incarnation. And then poor Aden Durde, the Cowboys' D-line coach who got spotlighted ... because he has a British accent? And not only that, but had to suffer through players' impressions of it? Good for Durde making it from London, but that whole segment was better suited for the kiddos. Bonus points for Dan Quinn acting like the Cowboys were in the divisional playoffs while overseeing preseason snaps from the booth.
Now here's a player profile that deserves more attention and already boasts some depth. Kamara, the 2020 undrafted Kansas pass rusher, is a former refugee who learned American football on the fly, and he didn't have a spotless "Hard Knocks" debut: After accidentally bumping backup quarterback Ben DiNucci in camp drills, he received the ire of every nearby coach. But his brief moment with family after the Cowboys' preseason game in Arizona was good stuff, as is his fight to prove he belongs.
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17 August, 2021 - 12:01pm
According to Dr. Lyle Cain, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Alabama, the lack of a preseason likely played a major role in the amount of injuries we saw in 2020:
“When COVID first started in March, April, May most of us were worried about soft-tissue injuries — hamstrings, Achilles, and things like that, where you have to have a certain amount of elasticity built up to be able to handle really quick explosive movements.”
Soft-tissue injuries were everywhere in the first half of the 2020 season. Through the season’s first eight weeks, there were 15 Achilles-related injuries. To put that in perspective, from 2009 to 2016, there were 101 Achilles tendon ruptures total and 64 percent of those came in training camp or the preseason. To put it bluntly, no preseason means a greater likelihood of soft-tissue injury. So, given those numbers, with the Cowboys slated to participate in the first game of the season — September 9 against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Mike McCarthy’s plan to likely hold Dak Prescott out of all preseason games seems questionable at best.
Over the last calendar year, Prescott has suffered a season-ending ankle injury, signed a six-year extension, and experienced a shoulder strain. With all the recovery Prescott has had to endure coupled with the cautious approach the team seems to be taking with him, Prescott has seen minimal time participating in OTAs and training camp in a full capacity ahead of the 2021 season. That could be a huge problem moving forward, as Dr. Cain put it: “You have to have a certain amount of elasticity built up to be able to handle really quick explosive movements.”
I understand playing it safe with your franchise quarterback. After all, the Cowboys’ offense looked atrocious without Prescott at the helm in 2020. However, given what we’ve seen in the last year and a half, it would probably make sense to at least somewhat include Prescott in the team’s preseason training regimens. Whether it be by giving Prescott a few snaps in one or two preseason games, or having Prescott participate fully in the last few weeks of Cowboys training camp, it is Dallas’s duty to prepare Prescott’s body for game action.
Obviously, I am not in the Cowboys’ training facilities and recovery rooms. I do not have a full understanding of what the Cowboys are currently doing with Prescott. If the Cowboys’ medical team is in fact working with Prescott on his movement but just not putting him in pads and having him line up in 7-on-7 walkthroughs, I can understand the team’s decision to “play it cautiously” with him. However, I have seen zero reports of that being the case, and, in fact, plenty to the contrary. Prescott has talked about all the rehab he’s gone through, but rehab normally deals with recovery, not building up tendon strength for explosive movements.
Nobody wants to see Dak Prescott leave a game on a stretcher again. Ever. Even worse, nobody wants to see Prescott’s season end before the regular season has even started. That being said, studies show (remember those 101 Achilles’ ruptures?) that participating in just a few game-type situations plays a major factor in long-term soft-tissue health. I get that the Cowboys don’t want to risk an injury to their starting quarterback in a preseason game, but please, at least give him some first-team reps in practice during the weeks leading up to Week 1. It’ll only help him.