Offbeat: GPS devices offer clues to energy use

August, 15, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys are using GPS devices on 30 players to help monitor their movements, with the goal of evaluating how much energy is used during practice.

ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the latest on Tom Brady's injury and Cowboys training camp in Oxnard.

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The New York Giants use a similar device for their entire team.

The device is placed in the back of the shoulder pads, and after every practice Brett Bech, the Cowboys' assistant strength and conditioning coach, downloads the data from the device.

Dallas has encountered numerous hamstring injuries -- including several to Miles Austin -- over the years, so the team decided to look at ways to combat the health issue. Several players also undergo extra stretching with Mike Woicik, the head of strength and conditioning, and Bech.

The Cowboys' wide receivers run a lot, it seems, between the individual, team and special-teams drills, so Bech monitors how much energy is exerted during practices. Depending on how a player reacts, extra stretching or scaling back their work in practice can be prescribed.

The Giants' GPS device checks hydration levels to show how much energy players have at certain points of practice.
Calvin Watkins joined in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.



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