How Cowboys coaches shocked their Senior Bowl players
The Dallas Cowboys shocked prospects at the Senior Bowl when they ask them to do something most had never done before.
Following a 4-12 season, the Dallas Cowboys were awarded the fourth overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft to help turn things around in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff were also granted the chance to coach one of the teams participating in last month’s Senior Bowl.
It was a rare opportunity for evaluation of a talented class of incoming seniors granted to the Dallas organization. And according to one of their players, the Cowboys certainly didn’t squander that opportunity.
In fact, what their coaching staff did from the very first day shocked many of those young, inexperienced prospects and kept them on their toes all week.
"“Their whole evaluation for us was, ‘How well can this guy take notes?’” Stanford inside linebacker Blake Martinez told hosts Alex Marvez and Phil Savage on SiriusXM NFL Radio Monday. “They didn’t give us a playbook. They basically explained it on the board. They expected us to write down good enough notes to go back to our rooms, study, and have the diligence to step on the field the next day and perform at the high level they wanted.”"
It was a brilliant move by the Cowboys coaching staff that left many of the prospects stunned.
"“You could see the facial expressions when we were in the meetings and (the Cowboys coaches) said, ‘We’re not giving you playbooks. Take some notes,’” Martinez continued. “It was like, ‘Oh … I’ve never done that before.’"
Handing them a playbook full of blank pages and forcing these young players to take accurate notes in order to stay afloat throughout the week is one of the smartest evaluation tools I’ve ever heard of.
Martinez went on to say that many of the prospects struggled at first, but began to catch on as the week progressed. But for him, it was an invaluable lesson about what it takes to be a professional in the NFL.
Criticize Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett all you want. But you have to tip your hat to the coach on this one. What better way to determine a players commitment, intellect and readiness than forcing them to draw out the plays instead of simply handing out a playbook?
It speaks to Garrett’s strengths as an elevator and hopefully means Dallas came away with some invaluable insight about some of these prospects that they will use to their advantage during April’s draft.
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