FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys will be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks," which is a terrible idea for a football team trying to win games. As former "Hard Knocks'' victim/Cowboys coach Dave Campo recently told me, "It's invasive ... "I think there is pressure on (head coach) Mike McCarthy right now. I don't think it's in his best interest. It's a distraction.''
There is no denying, though, that this franchise and this team in particular provides more storyline fodder than any club in the NFL, and maybe in all of sports. And as we roll into Oxnard today, the HBO cameras have already been rolling. Cameras all over The Star. Cameras all over Frisco. And now, cameras all over Oxnard, Ventura, LA ... everywhere, in search of storylines.
Some of those storylines can already be predicted, I think. To wit: "The Top 10 Storylines To Come on 'Hard Knocks":
1. Dak's Ankle. This will be a legit football story. But it will also be transformed into high drama. Close-ups of the ankle. Violin music. And, I guarantee, a moment when Prescott falls to the turf ... and a video editor milks the moment with a painfully long sequence of silence.
2. Jerry in Hollywood. This is usually TMZ's deal, and it happens every summer. But now TMZ will be elbowed out of the way by owner Jerry Jones' personal entourage of NFL Films staffers. And yes, it will be made to look like total coincidence when Jerry is at dinner and happens to bump into Denzel Washington or Rob Lowe or Kevin Costner.
3. "The Swipe.'' I am a Jaylon Smith guy. But if you think you're tired on Jaylon's televised act? Wait until the "Hard Knocks'' cameras and the charismatic linebacker find one another. They will be magnetized together. And it will exhaust you.
4. Zeke's abs. We've covered Ezekiel Elliott's offseason extensively - but get ready to have it all re-covered. That same close-up camera that is going to bring you "Dak's ankle'' will also focus on Zeke, proudly wearing his familiar half-shirt, showing off those abs.
5. Amari Cooper's timetable. We've been told that Cooper's ankle rehab is not a major concern, and that if he's not ready for Day 1 of camp, his participation will occur shortly thereafter. But that truth makes for boring TV. So I'll nominate Amari as the guy who gets "The Real Housewives of Dallas'' treatment: Lots of fake angst, but without the wine-glass-throwing antics.
6. The Party Bus. It'll be "Hard Knocks'' best shot at showing "how the other half lives.'' Unless ... Jerry's Yacht is available. This will be the Jones' first opportunity, I believe, to pull the boat into Southern California during training camp. Hey, if you got it, flaunt it. (Especially if certain members of the media are invited aboard.)
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7. Dan Quinn, Mic'ed Up. Head coach Mike McCarthy is something less than colorful. Enter the new defensive coordinator, who is a combination of lovable and gruff and active and loud.
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8. Jimmy and Company at The Hall of Fame. Yes, the Cowboys play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton on Aug. 5. But that's not as camera-worthy as Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris and Jimmy Johnson going into the Hall.
Ah, the parties! Oh, the emotion! And yes, NFL Films will literally order Jerry and Jimmy to hang out together.
9. Homesickness. "Hard Knocks" will find a guy who can barely stand being away from his wife and his kids. ... and who won't be shy about showing that love for all to see. My nominee? Tank Lawrence would be down for this.
10. Micah and The Musician. This rookie class is overflowing with interesting personalities. I've already been told by an NFL source that "Hard Knocks'' finds first-round linebacker Micah Parsons to be a candidate for TV stardom due to his combination of glamor and grit.
"Hard Knocks" loves that obscure UDFA who can play the guitar; they latch onto him and make him a star, if only for a few weeks. And now here comes a kid in the form of Kelvin Joseph who isn't obscure (he's a second-round pick) and who actually does more musically than strum a guitar? He's actually got a rap career going?
Here's hoping that Kelvin Joseph is about to launch his 15-year NFL career. But first? His at-least 15 minutes of fame as an HBO character.