IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have long been at the forefront of technology in the NFL, going back to the start of the franchise with Tom Landry, Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt.
Jason Garrett is keeping that tradition alive by using drones to film part of the team’s practices.
Garrett got the idea from new SMU football coach Chad Morris. At the team’s rookie minicamp, two members from SMU’s video department flew a drone over the practices.
“We pride ourselves on coaching and teaching our players as well as we can and film has been a big part of the game for a long time,” Garrett said. “Typically you have an end zone shot and a sideline shot. We use a lot of hand-held cameras on the ground. ... One of our coaches went down to SMU for their spring practices and saw they were using it. They liked the angle. We got a chance to see it, so we decided to take a look at it.”
What does Garrett like about the angle?
“It’s interesting because it gives you the chance from behind to see all 11 guys on offense and all 11 guys on defense but from a closer angle,” Garrett said. “Oftentimes you have to kind of pull yourself away to get the all-22 shot. This allows you to get a little closer so you can coach better. You can see hand placement. You see where they have their feet, where they have their eyes. I think that’s important. You can look at that and coach them better being that much closer to the action.”
Offensive line coach Frank Pollack doesn't mind the overhead intrusion.
"Spent lots of years in Silicon Valley, so technology is nothing to me," said Pollack, who spent seven years of his nine-year playing career with the San Francisco 49ers. "I'm all for it. It's 2015, right? It's good stuff."