Dallas head coach Jason Garrett got the idea from new Southern Methodist University football coach Chad Morris. Southern Methodist University is located in Dallas. Two members from SMU's video department flew a drone over the practice during the Cowboys' rookie minicamp.
"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 told ESPN.com. "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."
Using drones gives Garrett the chance to see everything that is happening on the field, similar to the overhead cameras that television networks use during games, except those cameras are tethered to wires hanging above the field.
"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.
The Cowboys have a track record of using technology and sustained success in the NFL. While the use of the drones is an experiment for now, the Cowboys may decide to continue using drones during practice sessions. The NFL is a copycat league, and if one team finds an angle to achieve success, other teams will follow. It's only a matter of time before other teams start using drones to record practice sessions.
Do you coach a football team in Oregon? Let us know - We can film your games/practice!