Late Sunday night, I was watching NFL Network, and re-runs of HBO's Hard Knocks series were running. The team they were featuring, none other than our own 2008 Dallas Cowboys, coached by Wade Phillips, with Jason Garrett serving as Offensive Coordinator. Watching a few episodes, seeing PacMan Jones writing his reinstatement request letter to Roger Gooddell, and seeing Jason Garrett tell his offense very colorfully that he wasn't going to justify their failure to execute in certain situations got me thinking. Should Jason Garrett agree to have his team featured on the series?
Of course, there are pros and cons to this and every decision, so I started playing them out in my head...
Plenty of Story Lines- A $100M QB, Who's calling Plays?, A Blossoming WR who is working hard to stay out of trouble, Lots of 2nd year players who missed a lot of time in 2012 & are now fighting for roster spots, a rookie center who a lot of people felt was over-drafted who will be put immediately in a battle to be a starter, new defensive coaching staff/ scheme change... I could go on...
Tons Of Insider Access For Guys Like Me- As someone who works very hard to know the Cowboys better than anyone else, without the benefit of having access to, as KD would say, "a locker room or press conference," and without the ability to go watch practice first-hand as mainstream media members do, this would be a great way for me, the rest of our FPW team, and our amazing readers to see inside the organization, and hear conversations we wouldn't normally see or hear.
Put To Rest Some Common Cowboys Related Narratives- I have a feeling that if more of the country got to see Jason Garrett in his day to day dealings with the Jones's, the Assistant Coaches, and the team, they would come to realize what many around these parts already believe. Jason Garrett is in charge, he works for the Jones's but they don't control him. He still has his manhood in the building and there's no question who the person of authority is in the organization when it comes to football.
Made for TV Drama- When you work with a TV network, you know that there will be editing involved. The guys at HBO or NFL Films could easily edit footage in order to manufacture drama surrounding the organization in order to increase ratings, (although it is the Cowboys, they are a ratings cow all on their own). This would be something that the players and coaches would have to answer questions about and could have a negative impact.
It Could be a Distraction- If the players are busy doing "confessionals" in their hotel rooms, or getting mic'd up for practice, that's taking time away from their studying, and preparing for football.
History- Has a team ever been on Hard Knocks and had a good year? It turns out that of the 7 seasons of the show, 4 teams had winning records that season, 3 of which made the playoffs (08 Cowboys being the exception). The Jets made it to the AFC championship game in 2010 after appearing on Hard Knocks. In Dallas' previous appearances on the show, they have a combined record of 14-18 (5-11 & 9-7 respectively), however, that 2002 was going to be bad regardless of what they did in training camp. The 2008 team should have been better than 9-7 coming off of back to back trips to the playoffs in '06 & '07 but famously melted down in week 17 vs the Eagles in a win or go home matchup.
My opinion: Personally, and probably selfishly, I would LOVE to see the Cowboys on Hard Knocks. I think the team has the leadership in place, both on the coaching staff and among the players to be able to get through the distractions. I think guys like Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Sean Lee, Jason Hatcher etc, are all sick of being average, and I think they'd make sure the team got the work in. I also think it would be hugely valuable to me to see a little more perspective of the inner workings of the Jason Garrett led Cowboys.
What say you BTB??? Should the Cowboys volunteer for the 2013 edition of Hard Knocks?
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