'Hard Knocks' takes Dallas Cowboys fans on a drone, family ride to remember

FRISCO, Texas -- If you're looking for the stars of Episode No. 3 of HBO's "Hard Knocks," look at cornerback Trevon Diggs' son, Aaiden; offensive tackle Isaac Alarcon's mother, Myrthala Garcia; and Jonathon Jackson, a fourth-generation Dallas Cowboys employee and mailroom supervisor moonlighting as a card shark.

Oh, and there was a cool drone fly-through of The Star, the Cowboys' state-of-the-art practice facility that doubles as a boutique mall, complete with restaurants and a luxury hotel.

But on the field, which sometimes feels like it takes second place to what surrounds the organization off it, there was little discussion of quarterback Dak Prescott's recovery from a shoulder strain or things that will impact the Cowboys for the 2021 regular season.

Instead, there was a focus on Alarcon, an offensive lineman from Monterrey, Mexico, who is part of the NFL's International Player Pathway program; undrafted rookie running back JaQuan Hardy, who turned to Rec Specs after an eye contact issue in the second preseason game; and the struggles of fourth-string quarterback Ben DiNucci.

All three could find themselves on the Cowboys' practice squad when this season of "Hard Knocks" ends. Or not.

If there was a theme throughout Tuesday's episode, it was the veterans helping the younger players.

It was Amari Cooper teaching fellow wide receiver CeeDee Lamb how to work different releases and how he sets up defensive backs with patience and quickness. It was running back Ezekiel Elliott reminding Hardy to hit the hole close to the goal line. It was DeMarcus Lawrence schooling Azur Kamara on the do's and don'ts as a pass-rusher.

"Why you dancing?" Lawrence said to Kamara. "Look at your key, lock in, get the play, watch your key. Your key is going to tell you everything. Play fast."

Jackson might have had the most successful appearance on the show, pairing with rookie linebacker Micah Parsons to beat Prescott and Elliott in a game of spades.

After flipping over the winning card, Jackson confidently announced, "Don't ask me to come play with you. Y'all can go home now. Show's over."

The show might be close to being over for DiNucci, who had three interceptions in the Cowboys' preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Aug. 21. The Cowboys finished minus-four in turnovers, which coach Mike McCarthy noted in his walk off the field.

"I'm upset because of turnovers. We cannot play that way," the Cowboys' second-year coach said in the locker room. "And we will not play that way. That was an issue last year. And the urgency to be better than that, we've got to have it coming down the stretch here getting ready."

The Cowboys open the regular season in two weeks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 12 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

Aaiden Diggs had the best advice for his father's team.

"They can do better the next time," he said.

They have to.