Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott’s work ethic on show


Dak Prescott’s hunger to play soccer is insatiable, Micah Parson’s hunger for mid-workout snacks has not been satisfied, Ezekiel Elliott needs help wrapping birthday presents, and Jerry Jones is taking notes with a # 2 pencil.

At the season premiere on Tuesday night of the Dallas Cowboys’ third appearance in “Hard Knocks” there was no shortage of banter, quirks and expletives.

The premiere of “Hard Knocks” highlighted Prescott’s return from a gruesome ankle injury and subsequent development of a shoulder strain. In short, the $ 40 million Cowboys quarterback kept working … and worked so hard that he suffered an overload injury related to the latissimus muscle in his throwing shoulder. Prescott hasn’t thrown in two weeks since leaving the Cowboys’ first padded workout. Cowboys doctors consulted the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees coaches for advice, confirmed the footage of “Hard Knocks”.

Head coach Mike McCarthy only needed a single word, according to the microphones, to express his emotions from the sidelines that afternoon. It rhymed with “duck”.

And yet the debut episode on Tuesday offered far more humor than injury frustration. Prescott’s friendship with drafted classmate Elliott peaked when Elliott tried to surprise his quarterback with a gift wrapped luggage bag … apt card that read “YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY EXHAUSTED TO KICK YOUR ASS SO MUCH.”

Elliott’s response when Prescott interrupted YouTube’s video guided gift wrapping session? The running back slammed the door in front of his QB.

“What do you want?” said Elliott, who would also help his offensive linemen slap Prescott a cake in the face on his 28th birthday. “You’re trying to ruin the surprise.”

Here are five other key highlights from the debut episode:

1. Dak Prescott’s work ethic

“Hard Knocks” took viewers behind the scenes of Prescott’s insane initial training, including his “575” GPS reading, which coaches and coaches over-presumed. Prescott’s response to the pitch count: “I can’t get out of here [expletive]. I sat enough last year. … I don’t know why [expletive] They took me out of their repetitions.

“I’ll let you all know when I am [expletive] sore or something bothers me. ”

Days later, after his shoulder pulled, he would need it.

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2. The Dynamics of Micah Parsons and Dan Quinn

The Parsons personality has been seen since the day the cowboys selected the 12th linebacker overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Hard Knocks went on to show what was on his mind, from snacks in the middle of a workout – “Penn State used to have snacks during workouts. I loved that.… The lion is always hungry, ”says Parsons – under special guidance from his defensive coordinator. The footage showed Parsons hitting on a deep route and diving shortly after after an interception. Parsons demonstrated the ability to learn and grow quickly.

“That was the first time that you ran away from yourself. That’s why you have to [expletive] go, ”Quinn said to him. Parsons explained how he was trapped in a first game before realizing how to break free in the second.

The coach-player dynamic continued into the Hall of Fame game, where Parson’s Ballhawk skills flashed to restore a fumble. Even so, Quinn called down from the cabin to warn Parsons that his opportunities were over after 11 defensive snapshots.

“Be great [expletive] aggressive, ”Quinn says to Parsons, who picks up a corded phone on the sidelines. Parsons pleads, “Can I get another (series) for tonight?” Quinn refuses. “That sucks,” says Parsons, who then calculates nine hours of sitting together that are waiting for him on the sidelines, in buses and airplanes.

3. Insight into Mike McCarthy’s motivation

The “Hard Knocks” debut included Mike McCarthy’s Austin Powers-related footage, which “Mojo Moments” introduced to cowboys training, where unsolicited situational work met the offensive and the defensive. But perhaps McCarthy’s mojo debut moment came when he forced players to embrace the work ethic a Super Bowl champion team must have.

“It’s hard not to think about what we went through last year,” McCarthy began, referring to the Cowboys’ 6-10 campaign in its debut season. “[Expletive] last year.”

McCarthy urged players not to “waste each other’s time” at the training camp that sets the tone for their 17-game collection in 2021.

“Charlie [expletive]- So he doesn’t work here, OK? ”McCarthy said. “High School Harry, get your ass out of the” [expletive] Door. This is about winning. It’s about winning the world championship. Period. Period. Because that’s the only thing that counts. ”

McCarthy, who won Super Bowl XLV as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, told players that posts-season records and successes weren’t enough.

“And if you hold onto it once [expletive] Trophy high, I’ll tell you: it is [expletive] heavier than you think. ”

4. John Fassels … vasectomy?

After all, coaches are teachers, right? “Hard Knocks” cleverly opened the scene by pointing out that players in 90-man training camp plans are always worried about being cut. Then the scene dissolves into the coordinator of the special teams and de facto Fun Minister John Fassel, who asks questions about his vasectomy.

“Have you lost your drive?” asked a player whose face the camera team did not show. “Oh no,” Fassel immediately quipped into a room full of laughter. “Everything is exactly the same.” After further details, a member of special teams said to Fassel: “Trainer, you are a soldier.”

Turn on HBO Max for another anatomy lesson.

5th Dak Prescott, Wingman of the Week

If viewers tuned out Hard Knocks before the end credits, they would have missed some of Prescott’s best lines. Prescott, who knows he was busy with mice for “Hard Knocks,” asks what appears to be an equipment assistant if he has any girlfriends the assistant would like to call over the microphone.

“Just to be on the safe side,” Prescott tells a blond kid with a Gatorade towel over his shoulder. “I can help you with your love life if you need it.”

The assistant’s answer: “Yes, I need all the help I can get.”

Episode 2 of “Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys” will debut Tuesday, August 17 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

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