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Cowboys Hard Knocks: Dak’s Workload, Hall of Fame Game Highlight Season Premiere

The 16th season of HBO's Hard Knocks premiered last night, and for the third time since the series began in 2001 the are the featured team. The first episode featured the team returning to for , 's return from , and the against the Steelers in Canton.

Prescott's ankle injury was only covered briefly, as the introduction focused on the team moving forward and the energy around the league returning to fans at practices and games. Prescott said he “just wanted to fix it” when he broke his ankle against the Giants in week five, and was carted off the field at .

The bigger story was the ongoing progress of Dak's shoulder strain, which has kept him out of more practice and scrimmage time than the newly-signed starting QB would like. The time he did spend throwing at the start of Cowboys camp was shown heavily, but so too was a concerned and over his return to throwing post-injury.

Prescott has been participating in more recent practices, which is something to look for in next week's episode and beyond.

Before the Cowboys took the field against the Steelers, a fourth game that both teams gained while the rest of the league plays three, a few “mojo” plays from practice were shown. While it's purposefully hard to gather much about the team's personnel usage on these plays, it was good to see on the field at the same time as . The play resulted in a long touchdown pass to Elliott from Prescott.

has a lot of talent to work with on , and told the Dallas media on Tuesday he's looking forward to featuring different players depending on their matchups.

His message to the team in the locker room at halftime against the Steelers was to finish drives, emphasizing third down and conversions. The Cowboys were 20th in third down percentage and scored a touchdown on only half of their red zone trips in 2020, behind only the Giants and Jets. This was with an offense not unlike the one that took the field in Canton.

Starters like did get playing time as the pick was highlighted, pleading with for more playing time after his fumble recovery. Plays like this along with the induction of and into the make the score from the team's first exhibition meaningless – a 16 to 3 win for Pittsburgh.

The McCarthy family being from Pittsburgh, as well as his win coming against the Steelers at Jerryworld, were also shown on 

The Cowboys are back in Oxnard for practice, have cleared WR Amari Cooper and DE DeMarcus Lawrence off PUP, and will face the Cardinals for their second preseason game on Friday. The next Hard Knocks will be on Tuesday, August 17th.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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