“Hard Knocks” is returning to action for a 16th season on HBO. Once again, America’s team will be in the spotlight.
Yes, the Cowboys will star on “Hard Knocks” for a third time. The team appeared on the second iteration of the series in 2002, and again during the 2008 preseason. Now, after a 13-year hiatus from the show, Dallas will return and should provide some compelling storylines for viewers.
The Cowboys have a dynamic, star-studded offense headlined by Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. The team also added some personality to its defense by selecting linebacker Micah Parsons in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Dallas is coming off a 6-10 season, and the pressure is on Mike McCarthy’s coaching staff to produce in his second year in charge.
Certainly, there is no shortage of characters on whom “Hard Knocks” can focus. Maybe they’ll even get Jerry Jones involved in the series. Either way, with preseason football returning to the NFL in 2021, the show will likely find a way to be a bit more exciting than the joint Rams/Chargers series that aired during the pandemic-altered training camp of 2020.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to catch the 2021 “Hard Knocks” premiere, and what to keep an eye on during the series:
What time does Hard Knocks air tonight?
- Date: Tuesday, Aug. 10
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV channel: HBO
The latest season of “Hard Knocks” will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 10 p.m. ET. HBO will broadcast the five-episode series while HBO’s streaming service, HBO Max, will provide viewers an opportunity to live stream the event. The series will continue to air on Tuesday at 10 p.m. during the five-week lead-up to the 2021 NFL season.
How to watch, live stream Episode 1 on HBO
- TV Channel: HBO
- Live stream: HBO Max
Cable subscribers can watch “Hard Knocks” on HBO with a traditional cable subscription. Meanwhile, cord-cutters will have to subscribe to HBO Max to get access to the show and get an up-close look at Cowboys training camp.
‘Hard Knocks’ preview: Season 16
The Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 6-10 season that saw them finish third place in the NFC East, last year’s weakest NFL division. Heading into 2021, expectations are high as Prescott returns from an ankle injury that limited him to just five games last year.
Prescott’s comeback will likely be one of the biggest “Hard Knocks” storylines: He is also dealing with a shoulder injury, so his recovery from that could play a part in this as well.
Additionally, the coaching staff will get plenty of attention. Mike McCarthy is in just his second season as Cowboys coach, but his seat is hot after last year didn’t go as planned. The team’s newly hired defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, will be front and center as he looks to turn around a Dallas defense that was one of the NFL’s worst last season.
First-round rookie Micah Parsons will be one of the players to watch, as will his fellow linebackers. That room has a lot of bigger-name players including Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, who could be playing for future deals in Dallas — or elsewhere.
Surely, some hidden gems will emerge during this series as the “Hard Knocks” producers often find a plucky underdog to focus on. Fans will also be treated to four games of preseason action after having none last year. Dallas is one of two teams that will suit up for four preseason games, having already faced the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game.
Here’s a look at HBO’s first trailer for Hard Knocks, as posted to its YouTube channel.
‘Hard Knocks’ schedule: When does Episode 2 air?
This year’s “Hard Knocks” series will feature five one-hour-length episodes, released each Tuesday. The show will take viewers inside the Cowboys’ training camp and highlight Prescott’s return from injury, as well as McCarthy’s quest to turn Dallas into a playoff team after a rocky first season in charge in 2020.
The next episode drops on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
|Episode||Air date||Channel||Live stream|
|Episode 2||Aug. 17, 10 p.m. ET||HBO||HBO Max|
|Episode 3||Aug. 24, 10 p.m. ET||HBO||HBO Max|
|Episode 4||Aug. 31, 10 p.m. ET||HBO||HBO Max|
|Episode 5||Sept. 7, 10 p.m. ET||HBO||HBO Max|