After a disappointing 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys will start their 2021 season by being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks series. This marks the third time “America’s Team” has been featured on the show, with previous episodes taking place in 2002 and 2008.
With NFL camps getting back to pre-COVID normal this summer, Dallas will split training camp between Frisco, Texas, and Oxnard, California. The organization has never been camera-shy, especially with owner Jerry Jones seeking the limelight.
The storylines are aplenty, with Dallas heading into the 2021 season. Quarterback Dak Prescott will no doubt get his share of camera time as he attempts to return from a gruesome ankle injury in Week 5 of the 2020 season. The Cowboys’ success hinges on his ability to get back to peak form, and Prescott is +175 to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year and +1700 to be the Most Valuable Player.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott is coming off a career-low 979 rushing yards and six touchdowns last year. The former Ohio State star turns 26 before the season and will be running behind an offensive line that is in transition.
Head coach Mike McCarthy will be under the spotlight in 2021 after a 6-10 second season in Dallas. The interaction between Jones and former coach Jason Garrett was prominent on camera when the Cowboys were on Amazon’s All or Nothing during the 2017 season.
The last time the Cowboys were on Hard Knocks was in 2008, following head coach Wade Phillips’ first season with the team. Dallas had gone 13-3 in 2007 before losing in the first round of the playoffs, and they ended up going 9-7 after being on the HBO show.
The ratings will no doubt be an upgrade from the 2020 COVID season. Last year the show featured both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers in a scaled-back version of the NFL preseason. The first episode is scheduled to air on HBO Tuesday, August 10.
The Cowboys are the favorites to win the NFC East at +125, and they are +1300 to win the NFC. Their win total is 9.5, with the over at +107 and the under at -130. Dallas opens the regular season in the feature game at Tampa Bay on Thursday, September 9, as 6.5 point underdogs.
Snyder, Washington Punished by NFL
The Washington Football Team was hit with a $10 million fine this week, and owner Daniel Snyder cannot be involved in day-to-day operations. There appears to be some dispute between reporting and Snyder’s lawyers on when and how Snyder can return to his role. The Washington Post reported that Roger Goodell would approve Snyder’s return, but his lawyers say the move is voluntary, and Snyder can return whenever he wants.
The fine came after the NFL and independent counsel Beth Wilkinson conducted a workplace review on the organization. The investigation lasted nearly a year after allegations of a hostile workplace culture in Washington that included bullying and harassment.
Snyder’s wife Tanya has been named as co-CEO and will now oversee the day-to-day operations. The Snyder family purchased the final 40 percent of the team in March from disenfranchised minority owners. Dan Snyder originally bought into the team in 1999.
Last season under new coach Ron Rivera, the WFT won the NFC East and gave eventual champion Tampa Bay all they could handle in the first round of the playoffs before losing 31-23. They have brought in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the 2021 season and open +1.5 against the Chargers at home on Sunday, September 12.
Washington is +260 to repeat as NFC East champs, and they are +2200 to win the NFC. Their win total is at eight with the under at +116 and the over at -141.