Using film to evaluate your team is nothing new in football. Heck, my son's 6-year-old team used to put a parent on top of the press box during practice and games in an attempt to gain an advantage. Recently, some college and high school teams have taken things a bit further than just endzone shots and all-22 footage, they are now using unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAV's, or more popularly as drones, to film their practices. After watching SMU use the drones to record their practices, the Dallas Cowboys have opted to experiment with the latest in filming technology. Piloted by SMU staffers, the Cowboys used drones during their recent rookie mini-camp.
Coach Garrett was quick to explain the rationale behind the new concept and how it will benefit him and his staff.
"The drone angle is interesting because it gives you a chance from behind to see all 11 guys on offense and all 11 guys on defense, but from a lower angle. Often times, you have to kind of pull yourself way away to get the all-22 shot. This allows you to be a little closer, so you can coach better. You see hand placement, you see where they have their feet and where they have their eyes. I think that's important. You can look at the players and coach them better when you're that much closer to the action." - Jason Garrett
The NFL is a world where if you are not getting better then you are getting beat, and there is not much new under the sun as far as the game itself is concerned, so Dallas has to look for other ways to gain an advantage on the competition. While the preliminary work was done by the SMU coaches, the team will soon have its own personnel operating the UAV. Jerry Jones has already purchased the equipment for them and the next step will be for someone to master piloting the UAV. The Cowboys will be experimenting more as the offseason wears on, and if they continue to be impressed with the quality of the film that they receive, having somebody flying a UAV around the practice facility will be a routine occurrence at Valley Ranch and in Oxnard.
My only question and that is how do you apply for this job?