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CeeDee Lamb’s candles, Cowboys’ ‘Winston Churchill’ coach highlight ‘Hard Knocks’

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FRISCO, Texas — Second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has been the on-field star of training camp for the Dallas Cowboys. He has made play after play in Oxnard, California, and in his first practice inside Ford Center on Monday, he caught a touchdown pass on a diving fade to the corner of the end zone.

But in the second episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” on Tuesday, two things were learned about what the Cowboys hope is the next-great No. 88: He likes candles. And he has a Siberian Husky and a Goldendoodle that he missed terribly while in California.

“One thing about me, CeeDee is always going to smell good,” Lamb said. “I’m high on smells, so if it stinks, I’m gonna let you know.”

Then it’s a good thing Lamb wasn’t around Ezekiel Elliott when early on in the show, the Cowboys running back wondered if he would fart a cloud of baby powder during one practice because he had used the powder for skin irritation. And considering the amount of sunflower seeds Elliott ate during the Aug. 13 preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals as a spectator, Lamb might want to steer clear of his breath, too.

If the first episode of “Hard Knocks,” was about quarterback Dak Prescott‘s return from a serious right ankle injury and his ordeal dealing with a slight shoulder strain early in training camp, the second episode was about introducing the audience to those fighting for a roster spot.

Ben DiNucci is in a fight for the No. 3 quarterback role, which might not guarantee him a spot on the Cowboys’ 53-man roster. Coach Mike McCarthy’s affinity for the fellow Pittsburgh-bred DiNucci became clear during the episode, and it’s something to remember when Dallas makes its final cuts Aug. 31.

Linebacker Azur Kamara‘s journey from the Ivory Coast to the Cowboys is a typical “Hard Knocks” underdog story, and he very nearly had his moment in the preseason sun, but a strip sack/fumble was overturned by a penalty and prevented the Cowboys from beating the Cardinals.

However, it marked the first time Kamara’s mother, Djaka Bility, got to see him play in an NFL game.

“Everything I do,” Kamara said, “I do for my mom.”

Kamara said he spoke French and Mandingo, his native language, after arriving in the United States as a refugee. He has a strong accent, as does Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde.

Durde grew up in London, played in NFL Europe, spent two years on NFL practice squads and bounced around coaching gigs before joining the Cowboys’ coaching staff as a summer intern in 2014. In 2016, he joined Dan Quinn’s staff with the Atlanta Falcons and is now coaching the defensive line with Quinn coming to Dallas as the D-coordinator.

Durde’s accent became a running joke during the episode. Dallas defensive end Tarell Basham actually does a decent imitation of his position coach’s accent while listening to Durde’s post-practice wish for his players to relax and stay fresh during camp.

“He looks like he’s from Arkansas,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said of Durde. “I listen to him and he sounds like Winston Churchill.”

Prescott wasn’t forgotten in episode No. 2. His return from the shoulder strain remains the biggest news of Cowboys camp.

“I’m on a pitch count,” Prescott said after one of his two throwing sessions in Oxnard. “They called in the reliever.”

As the pitch count rises before the Sept. 9 opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), Prescott figures to play a prominent role again in the Cowboys’ offense.

Lamb will like the smell of that.



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