HBO’s Hard Knocks is over. Which means the season is beginning.
After a five-week series that showed that – surprise! – two of the Cowboys’ leaders are Terrell Owens and Tank Johnson, we no longer have to be tricked into caring about Keon Lattimore or Todd Lowber. The show that commenced with T.O. running on the beach and, honestly, never found enough intriguing story lines, last night climaxed with him saying “People, getcha popcorn ready.”
The five best moments from last night’s Hard Knocks: Week 5. Or did I miss something?
5. After an inconsistent-yet-entertaining training camp in which he, at times, defiantly battled tight ends coach John Garrett, second-round draft choice Martellus Bennett finally got the official seal of approval. Asked by owner Jerry Jones if Bennett could be trusted in Sunday’s opener against the Cleveland Browns, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett answered, “Absolutely.”
4. As he did in an earlier episode, DeMarcus Ware won me over while playing with and singing to his adopted daughter, Marley. Nothing like a little “Knees, Shoulders, Toes” to get you amped for football season.
3. Owens, who lives in the same Dallas condo tower as his piano-playing neighbor Marion Barber -- ring a bell? -- has four clocks, one for his hometown (Alexander City, Ala.) and three for his NFL teams (San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas). Interestingly, he also has a sign at his front door that reads “Please remove your shoes. Yes, that includes YOU. Help yourself to some socks.” T.O.’s place either doubles as a Japanese restaurant or he’s one of the world’s neatest freaks. Either way, bizarre.
2. Yes the cameras were rolling when Pacman Jones – all decked out in Ed Hardy gear and walking through a parking lot full of Dallas police cars – got the official word of his reinstatement. But I was more enlightened by his fishing excursion with mentor Deion Sanders, and his locker-room exchange with Tank Johnson. The latter went something like this:
Pacman: Get that shit out your mouth.
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Tank: I’m sorry, Pacman Jones was talking. (Hits Pacman in leg.) What’d you say? Leave my interview alone.
Pacman: Man, you hit my God damn leg that hard again and I’m gonna smack that dip out your mouth.
Tank burst out in laughter, but I got the feeling Pacman was only half-kidding.
1. “This season thirty one teams have dreams about the Super Bowl. But the Dallas Cowboys expect it.” Corny, sure. But when narrator Liev Schreiber says it, you kinda get all goose-bumpy. -- Richie Whitt