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Ellis: Would Love HBO Cameras To Return

IRVING, Texas -I can't remember if it was the first or second time the Cowboys appeared on *Hard Knocks *- which means I'm getting my Keon Lattimore mixed up with my Woody Dantzler - but I distinctly remember a TV exec at one point suggesting that Jerry Jones would be the first NFL owner stepping up to have his team profiled on HBO for an entire season.

And frankly I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't happened yet. Really it came as a bit of a bummer to find out once and for all on Tuesday that the Cowboys won't be featured this year.

Instead, Anthony Fasano, Kevin Burnett and the Miami Dolphins will be this summer's stars after, oh, just about every other team turned down the opportunity.

I really can't understand why so many clubs passed up the chance to grow their brand. All-business coaches may not like what they feel is an invasion of privacy, but there are other things for owners and team presidents to consider. Would it be so bad for the Seahawks or the Falcons to generate some interest outside of their respective metro areas?

Of course, this isn't an issue for the Cowboys, who an ESPN poll released today found to be the most popular in the league. But the Cowboys didn't get to be America's Team by shying away from the spotlight. From Tex Schramm to Jerry Jones, the organization has a long history of making itself accessible to fans.

In today's NFL, there's no better way for a fan to get to know his favorite team than to go inside the daily operation with behind the scenes footage from *Hard Knocks.

*No matter which team is featured, the show is must-see TV, but doubly so if it's the team you follow closest.

I can't understand the fans who perceive the show as a distraction and wouldn't want to see the Cowboys on Hard Knocks again. It didn't distract the New York Jets when they went back to the AFC Championship in 2010. It didn't distract the Baltimore Ravens when they followed up their Super Bowl win in 2000 by advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

Yes, the Cowboys went 5-11 in 2002, the first time they were on HBO. You know, they were also 5-11 in 2000 and 2001, as well.

And yes, the Cowboys only went 9-7 in 2008 when so many of us expected a Super Bowl run. But that had a lot more to do with misfires in player acquisition and some damaging injuries.

The point is, these teams are what they are, and having practices and meetings documented and aired on national television doesn't have any effect on what happens between the lines.

The only thing it change is our understanding and appreciation of just what goes into preparing a football team for the season. Why would anyone not want to know more about their favorite team?

There should be more to fanhood than rooting for the laundry.

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