Spectators at NFL training camps are used to seeing teams work on blitz packages such as, Zone Dog. However, those watching Cowboys camp in Oxnard, California, are not just getting to see Zone Dog, they’re also getting Downward Dog.
The Dallas Cowboys, in order to combat the rash of soft-tissue injuries which plagued the team last year, have turned to yoga to enhance the flexibility of their players.
According to Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett:
It’s certainly something that’s been a part of getting yourself physically ready to play for a long time. Flexibility is important, so you have different ways that you try to do. We’ve had yoga teachers in the past at [their home training facility]. We’ve had different people stretch our players, our strength coaches, then people from the outside. One of the challenges you have with a shortened down offseason is there’s only so many things you can do and we really emphasize the strength and conditioning, a running program and also what we’re doing with football, so you try to find spots with adding these kinds of things to your program, but our team has embraced it.
The Cowboys took advantage of their being close to Los Angeles — one of the yoga capitals of the world — to bring instructor Stacey Hickman to camp, and put the players through the motions, according to Pro Football Talk.
“Everybody is cool with it,” cornerback Jourdan Lewis explained. “Everybody is a manly man, and understand this is just to prolong their career.”
Of course, if one has to say that they’re a “manly man” after doing yoga, it must mean they have some question about whether that is still the case. Regardless of how Cowboys players feel about yoga, they better get used to it. The Cowboys are intent on keeping yoga as a permanent fixture of training camp.
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