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Dallas Cowboys promise to bring star power

by Lewis hawkins
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Hard Knocks is back. The acclaimed docuseries returns for its 16th season on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on HBO (it will also stream on HBO Max). As per tradition, I’ll author episode recaps that you can read the night of each episode’s airing.

In preparation for Tuesday’s premiere, here are some hypothetical FAQs about the upcoming season, which will feature the Dallas Cowboys for the third time in the series’ 20-year run.

What are some subplots we should expect in the season premiere?

The Cowboys are a global entity, and as such, they take brand maintenance very seriously. Any recognition of heroes of franchise past is celebrated with great tenacity, so expect much to be made of Jimmy Johnson’s enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past weekend.

Johnson and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — a Hall of Famer himself — had a well-documented falling out after Johnson helped build the Dallas dynasty that produced three Lombardi trophies in the 1990s, but Johnson’s enshrinement speech made it clear that bad blood has been left in the past. Expect some exaltation of the Cowboys’ dominant run in the first half of the ’90s — the team hasn’t returned to the Super Bowl in the 25 years since its Super Bowl XXX conquest in 1996.

It was a huge weekend for the Cowboys in Canton. Wide receiver Drew Pearson and safety Cliff Harris — two pillars of the team’s ’70s dynasty — also received gold jackets. Then there was Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game preseason kickoff between the Cowboys and Steelers. Add it all up, and you can expect much Canton-based footage in the premiere.

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