In what has the distinct feeling of Russian Roulette, every offseason HBO embarks on the search for an NFL team the network can feature on its annual reality show "Hard Knocks", which follows a team through training camp and preseason. Most teams run for the panic room as soon as HBO is even mentioned, but every season one team cannot pass up the opportunity for the national spotlight and agrees to be featured in the show.
According to Adam Schein from Foxsports, HBO wanted the Tebow-enhanced Jets - the last team to be featured on the show in 2010 - to appear on the show again. But Rex Ryan apparently wanted no part of a repeat, as improbable as that may sound. And the Jets are not the only team to have declined a spot on the 2012 show: The Raiders declined before they were even asked. The Ravens, whom HBO would have liked in a Harbaugh brothers combo with the 49ers, sounded very reluctant about the show. The Tebow-diminished but Peyton-enhanced Broncos, who believe they were approached by HBO even before the Jets, also ruled out an appearance.
The 49ers are not saying no; the least popular team in the league, the Jaguars, would love to do the show; the Saints are being mentioned as a possible candidate and Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reported yesterday that the Atlanta Falcons had apparently received an offer from HBO to do the show.
Where are the Cowboys in all this, you might ask? In a badly failed attempt at writing a humorous column, NFL.com's Jason Smith listed the Cowboys as the number two team on the list teams he'd like to see on Hard Knocks.
The Cowboys were featured on the show twice before, in 2002 and 2008. There is little doubt that Jerry Jones would love the opportunity to bask in the national spotlight again and HBO might get a kick out of focusing on 'the other Ryan' after the Jets declined to pursue a second season, but would Jason Garrett play along?
For the majority of Cowboys fans, it would be the only opportunity to get 'up close and personal' with their team. Personally, I know that I tremendously enjoyed the show in 2008, but there are many who would caution against a repeat of the traveling circus the Cowboys became in 2008.
Let us know whether you would like the Cowboys to appear "Hard Knocks" again. The Cowboys are always worth a story, there are characters everywhere and the haters alone will drive ratings up, let alone the Cowboys fans around the nation. But would the potential distraction be worth it?