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Cowboys 'Hard Knocks' Episode 2: Monica vs. McCarthy

HBO's cameras find the Dallas Cowboys fighting the Rams, losing to the Cardinals and boasting an international flavor

There's Monica, the soothing voice of yoga at Dallas Cowboys' training camp:

"When you're ready," she tells the players on the field in Oxnard, "bring your knees to your chest and relax. Imagine you're not at practice anymore."

And then - providing a jarring juxtaposition in Episode 2 of HBO's Hard Knocks - there's fiery, obscenity-laced head coach Mike McCarthy:

"We've got to get on the edge!" he tells players before last Friday's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. "The personality of our team needs to take a step up tonight. We played this team last year. Let's make sure we put it on their ass. Let's turn this sh*t up.

"We're a popular team," he concludes. "But we're not in this for being f*cking popular."

Cue the cameras ... and a national viewing audience in the millions.

READ MORE: 'Hard Knocks' Episode 1 - Scars and Super Bowl Goals

Week 2 of the show focuses on quarterback Ben DiNucci's struggles on the field, getting fashion tips (hoodie, please!) from Dak Prescott and beating rookie linebacker Micah Parsons on the chess board.

"Aww, you're not good at all," bemoans Parsons. "I did that one blunder."

Proving the Cowboys can be both Hard Knocks and soft as babies, the episode also highlights Ezekiel Elliott using baby powder on his "gooch" and munching an entire bag of sunflower seeds during Dallas' exhibition loss to the Cardinals. The cameras later follow DeMarcus Lawrence and family to the beach, and give cameos to a couple of international members: Defensive end Azur Kamara from the Ivory Coast and defensive line coach Aden Durde, who cut his teeth in NFL Europe.

"You look at coach Durde and he looks like he's from Arkansas," jokes owner Jerry Jones. "But he sounds like Winston Churchill."

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After a FaceTime between Jones and former Cowboy Michael Irvin, second-year receiver CeeDee Lamb gets his moment in the spotlight with a montage of eye-popping highlight catches on the field. And in his room? Candles. The kid loves his candles.

Admits Lamb, "I'm high on smell."

Parsons is again featured in preseason action, forcing a fumble on Arizona's first possession.

"I don't need to talk about it or hear about it," Parsons exclaims afterward on the sideline. "I just do it. That's what I do!"

Good news: While the Cowboys are making their record third appearance on Hard Knocks, 19 teams - including their three NFC East brethren - have yet to be featured.

Bad news: The Cowboys have never made the playoffs in a year in which they starred, going a combined 14-18 in 2002 and 2008. In fact, no team on Hard Knocks has ever gone on to play in the Super Bowl.

READ MORE: Watch HBO's Official Dallas Cowboys: Hard Knocks Trailer

In 2002, the Cowboys' series was highlighted by Emmitt Smith's imminent pursuit of the NFL's all-time rushing record, the travails of troubled quarterback Quincy Carter and head coach Dave Campo, who sang karaoke, took his players to San Antonio's Sea World and made his entire team punch a time clock.

In 2008, the show followed the storylines of a new stadium being built in Arlington, receiver Terrell Owens, newcomer Pacman Jones, a rookie named Martellus Bennett rolling his eyes at the coaching of assistant John Garrett and the decline of former first-round draft pick Bobby Carpenter, who offensive players derisively referred to as "Barbie Carpenter" and a "punk ass bitch."

This Summer's five-episode series continues each Tuesday, climaxing two days before the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.