Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb relaxed at practicing camp with a candy berry peony-scented candle, operating support Ezekiel Elliott used to be grateful for a present of small one powder and 2 Cowboys who hail from Pennsylvania faced off in a chess match.
The second episode of HBO’s “Onerous Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys” docuseries aired Tuesday, offering additional insight into stars and fringe roster gamers, in addition to teaching dynamic intricacies only known in the support of closed doorways.
Sloppy practices? Head coach Mike McCarthy had publicly knocked his group for psychological errors and overlooked assignments, but “Onerous Knocks” displayed the attention to cadence as offensive coordinator Kellen Moore demanded all gamers stand, clapping on repeat, whereas rehearsing the snap. In an early scene, McCarthy emphasized to gamers for the duration of a gathering the importance of making a bunch personality rooted in physicality. Defensive line coach Aden Durde implored his position community: “We must always work on our psychological toughness.”
Right here are USA TODAY Sports’ top five highlights from Episode 2:
1. Circus-devour catches are expecting center stage
Cowboys fans needn’t gain tuned into “Onerous Knocks” to survey highlight-reel catches from Lamb, the second-yr star receiver. Those blanketed Cowboys Twitter from the first week of practicing camp. Nonetheless the uncover did offer fresh jaw-dropping angles of Lamb’s one-handed heroics, whereas audio captured by the NFL Movies crew shed additional gentle into how teammates perceive Lamb’s consistent spectacles.
“That’s an effortless guy to throw a stagger ball to,” quarterback Dak Prescott says. “Secret agent, he upright walks under them.”
Parsons, Dallas’ 2021 first-spherical salvage, lauded the 2020 top selection as “depraved as [expletive].”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones shared identical sentiments whereas video speaking to Hall of Reputation receiver Michael Irvin for the duration of this week’s episode.
“His strength is noticeable, his work he’s done, he’s added pounds,” Jones acknowledged. “You would possibly per chance per chance per chance per chance additionally survey upright in the come he snatches the ball. This guy needs to exit and gain the plays. We’ve upright got to spend it. We’ve got to gain it it in his fingers.”
2. Micah Parsons’ relentless regard of the game
For the second straight episode, Parsons aimed to battle for more preseason snaps. His 14 chances (20% of defensive snaps) against Arizona pleased him no longer more than his outdated 11 (19%). On the sideline, the rookie doth inform.
“You acknowledged a quarter and a half,” Parsons told senior defensive assistant George Edwards. “Coach, manufacture you no longer consider what you told me?”
Parsons used to be credited with four tackles vs. the Cardinals in addition to a beyond-the-field-score instinctive conclude that aided linebacker Keanu Neal’s compelled fumble and restoration. Neal goaded Parsons on the bench, additional lighting fixtures the fire: “I’m hoping your ass is done so you would possibly per chance per chance per chance derive [expletive] mad.”
Additionally featured: a scene in which Parsons, a gamesman who truly introduced his contain Connect Four board to Southern California practicing camp, faces backup quarterback Ben DiNucci in a chess match. DiNucci one way or the opposite won on memoir of what Parsons insisted used to be “one blunder.” The Pennsylvania boys exchanged jabs. “In opposition to a Pittsburgh guy, I’ve never been anxious,” acknowledged Parsons, who grew up in Harrisburg. DiNucci’s a hit gloat: “I dispute the western Portion of PA is more fit than the japanese section of PA, huh?”
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3. Defensive line coach flashes accent, acumen
Aden Durde rejoined the Cowboys teaching workers for a second stint this offseason. Nonetheless the refined accent with which he coaches gain drills straight away presents away Durde’s roots: He is British. As Durde coaches how finest to assault with a strong outside arm, Jones presents a description paying homage to the biblical scene when Isaac assesses whether or no longer he’s speaking along with his son Jacob or progeny Esau.
“That defensive line coach, I gape at him and he appears to be devour he’s from Arkansas,” Jones says of Durde from the sideline of note. “I pay attention to him, and he sounds devour Winston Churchill.”
Durde’s accent generates laughter from defensive linemen, along with conclude Tarell Basham, who commits to an impersonation for the duration of the episode. A reporter asks Durde whether or no longer he’s aware of “Ted Lasso,” an American soccer coach tasked with teaching an English soccer group in the widespread Apple TV uncover. Durde acknowledged he’s no longer viewed the uncover.
“Nonetheless I’ve heard some people affirm that,” Durde adds. “I do know who he is now.”
Cowboys DL coach Aden Durde: “We must always work on psychological toughness.”
DeMarcus Lawrence to D linemen: “All y’all gape devour you’re threatening, that’s the plan it’s alleged to feel. If (your opponent) ain’t got a chunk of piss coming down his leg, you ain’t threatening him no longer easy sufficient.”
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) August 18, 2021
4. Highs, lows of bubble player’s dart
Cowboys stagger rusher Azur Kamara overlooked the 2020 season with an inconvenience designation. The 22-yr-frail Ivory Saunter native fled the civil war along with his family as a kid, finding refuge first in Guinea earlier than reaching the USA and settling in Arizona. Kamara, who performed faculty soccer at Kansas, is confirmed in the episode making contact with DiNucci for the duration of group drills – an inexcusable error, well-known of a firm Durde rebuke afterward. Nonetheless for the duration of the preseason sport against the Cardinals, in which Kamara’s family attends, Kamara flashes with a would-be strip sack that used to be negated by a counterfeit begin penalty. The play counts for naught, however the instinct drew props from teammates and coaches. Kamara’s mom smiles so interminably his sister tells mom her “face is gonna inconvenience.”
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5. Dak Prescott makes development
The Cowboys development through this episode toward answering the supreme question of practicing camp: Dak Prescott’s properly being. The quarterback slowly getting back from a latissimus stress in his throwing shoulder resumes throwing in particular person drills. Relish in Episode 1, restrictions manufacture no longer please him.
“Loved the work man,” Prescott says after one session return, with a trace of bitterness. “I’m done, they pulled me. They pulled me. I’m on a pitch count. They called in the reliever.”
Prescott explains in component how he as an different embraces psychological reps, envisioning his targets and adjustments whereas supervising group drills.
In the length in-between, backups devour DiNucci – whose swag, or lack thereof, Prescott decries – purpose to capitalize on alternatives. Creating younger gamers is a key of the preseason after all, McCarthy reiterates following the Cowboys’ preseason loss to the Cardinals.
“I devour the come you fought tonight … particularly the younger guys who performed a ton of soccer,” McCarthy acknowledged in the postgame locker room. “Clearly we made some errors. We’ll be better for it, OK?
“It’s a few hit, we realize. We’ll derive that.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
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