Nick Sirianni is already paying dividends in Philadelphia.
Thanks to the Eagles having a first-year head coach (and their 2019 playoff appearance), the team was allowed to opt out from appearing on HBO’s Hard Knocks, which this year will feature the Dallas Cowboys for the third time in the show’s 13-year history.
Under rules established in 2014, the Cowboys were one of five teams that could have been forced to appear if no franchise volunteered. Teams are allowed to opt out of the documentary series if they’ve appeared in the playoffs the previous two seasons or have a rookie head coach leading the franchise. Teams can also decline if they’ve appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years.
Since 2012, just three teams that have appeared on Hard Knocks have gone on to have a winning season — the 2013 Cincinnati Bengals, the 2015 Houston Texans, and the 2020 Los Angeles Rams (though they split their season with the Los Angeles Chargers, who finished 6-10).
The Cowboys will be the first franchise to make three appearances on the documentary series, which follows a single NFL team through training camp and the preseason. The Cowboys previously appeared in 2002 and 2008, and are almost perfectly suited for the show, considering the team’s star power and their lackluster finish last season.
“The Cowboys are one of the most storied franchises in NFL history and a team that elicits strong reactions from fans around the world,” Ken Rodgers, vice president and senior coordinating producer at NFL Films, said in a statement released Friday. “Tens of millions of fans love them, but just as many people love to hate them. Either way, when the Cowboys show up people watch, which makes them perfect for Hard Knocks.”
Hard Knocks will premiere on HBO on Aug. 10, and the final episode will air Sept. 7, two days before the Cowboys face off against Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the NFL season.