Episode two of Hard Knocks featuring the Dallas Cowboys aired Tuesday night. The series continues to provide a wellspring of information to help fans get an inside look at America’s Team.
With episode two in the books, here are seven quick hits on what Cowboys Nation learned about their team.
1. The Return of Tank
This is the first time Cowboys fans get a look at defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence in Hard Knocks. The Lawrence family takes their annual trip to the beach, taking time away from football and the rehab after his back surgery. Having a mental break can help keep the focus on a player’s recovery.
Lawrence is not only a valuable member on the field but off it as well. In episode two, we see him coaching up defensive lineman Ron’Dell Carter and Tarell Basham. He needs to stay present even though he can’t be on the field just yet.
As a side note, it’s a good sign to see him carry around his baby girl. Those baby carriers can put a strain on his back.
2. Scrimmage vs. the Los Angeles Rams
Any time a team can hit in practice without having friendly fire is a good thing. The goal of a joint scrimmage with the Rams for Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was getting quality reps against a great team. It’s a measuring stick for how the team is responding to the coaching so far.
There are many benefits to having joint practices during training camp. Having wide receivers CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup go against Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey can only help improve their pass catching. Ramsey is far and away better than any cornerback Dallas has, so why not take advantage of the free practice.
The Cowboys gained a lot from their scrimmage, but there was obvious tension between them and the Rams.
3. Williams vs. Donald
Practicing with another team can also cause players to flex their muscles a little more than usual. That was evident when the Cowboys and Rams started to hit each other.
That was on full display when Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald went against Cowboys offensive lineman Connor Williams and instigated a fight.
In the final year of his contract, Williams is trying to prove he belongs in Dallas by throwing the reigning defensive player of the year to the ground. That’s the type of tenacity the front office hopes to see on the field this year. Connor Williams 1, Aaron Donald 0.