Dallas Cowboys on ‘Hard Knocks’: CeeDee Lamb’s circus-like catches, defensive dynamic highlight latest episode

Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb relaxed at training camp with a sweet berry peony-scented candle, running back Ezekiel Elliott was thankful for a supply of baby powder and a couple of Cowboys who hail from Pennsylvania faced off in a chess match.

The second episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys” docuseries aired Tuesday, offering further insight into stars and fringe roster players, as well as coaching dynamic intricacies only known behind closed doors.

Sloppy practices? Head coach Mike McCarthy had publicly knocked his team for mental errors and missed assignments, but “Hard Knocks” displayed the attention to cadence as offensive coordinator Kellen Moore demanded all players stand, clapping on repeat, while rehearsing the snap. In an early scene, McCarthy emphasized to players during a meeting the importance of establishing a team personality rooted in physicality. Defensive line coach Aden Durde implored his position group: “We have to work on our mental toughness.”

Here are USA TODAY Sports’ top five highlights from Episode 2:

1. Circus-like catches demand center stage

Cowboys fans need not have tuned into “Hard Knocks” to discover highlight-reel catches from Lamb, the second-year star receiver. Those blanketed Cowboys Twitter from the first week of training camp. But the show did offer new jaw-dropping angles of Lamb’s one-handed heroics, while audio captured by the NFL Films crew shed further light into how teammates perceive Lamb’s consistent spectacles.

“That’s an easy guy to throw a go ball to,” quarterback Dak Prescott says. “See, he just walks underneath them.”

Parsons, Dallas’ 2021 first-round pick, lauded the 2020 top selection as “nasty as [expletive].”