We’ll be getting a closer look at the Eagles’ rivals.
Every year, there’s some intrigue about which team will be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks series. As it turns out, the show is featuring an NFC East team this year. But not the Philadelphia Eagles. Instead, it’ll be their most hated division rival: the Dallas Cowboys.
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) July 2, 2021
The Cowboys were one of five teams that could be forced into doing Hard Knocks this year since they did not meet any of the following three exempt conditions:
1 – Have a first-year head coach
2 – Have been featured on Hard Knocks at least once in the last 10 years
3 – Have appeared in the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons
The Eagles weren’t among the five since they checked two of those three boxes but they’ll be in jeopardy of being forced on next year if they don’t make the playoffs this season. Which is very possible.
Our enemies (more specifically, my NFC East Mixtape co-host RJ Ochoa) from Blogging The Boys broke explained why the Cowboys were a good choice:
There is no shortage of storylines when it comes to the Cowboys which is why they are perfect (whatever year it is) for something like this. You have Dak Prescott’s return (with a brand new contract), other players back healthy, Ezekiel Elliott trying to re-find his form, CeeDee Lamb entering year two, Micah Parsons as the team’s first-round draft pick, a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn, and much more.
If you believe Hard Knocks has an adverse effect on a team, though, maybe this development isn’t such good news for Cowboys fans. RJ shared this graphic on BTB’s YouTube channel:
Looking back further, the Cowboys went 5-11 in their first appearance on Hard Knocks in 2002 and 9-7 in their second run in 2008.
Of course, correlation isn’t causation. I doubt being featured on a TV show is seriously going to make or break their season. I guess it could create an inflated sense of confidence for the Cowboys, which could be fun if/when they inevitably come up short like they always do. Wouldn’t mind seeing them buy into their own hype a little too much.
Also wouldn’t hate if the show provided us with some moments to poke fun at Dallas. Perhaps we’ll see Mike McCarthy say or do something embarrassing. (Selfishly, that could provide some nice fodder for the aforementioned NFC East Mixtape!)
Will you be watching this year’s edition of Hard Knocks?