Listen: Analyzing Opponents Through Data with Judd Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys


In depth analytics tools and innovative data are changing the way sports teams prepare for opponents, making sure every play is keeping player’s strengths and weaknesses in mind. Judd Garrett, Director of Advance Scouting for the Dallas Cowboys explains how these tools are making it easier to read your opponent’s moves, strategies, and tendencies; changing sports scouting.


“We get so much information now. They chart everything as far as where the players are aligned on the field for each play, what their actual movements are of what they’re doing and we use all of those numbers to come up with their tendencies,”Garrett said. ““There’s also been the use of data analytics in regards to evaluating players for the draft or evaluating players that you may want to bring on as a free agent or make a trade or acquire the player in various different ways.


This update in tools and analytics will have a much larger impact on the game than just player’s alignment and routines, though. Being able to predict opponents’ behaviors and routes is also easily implemented and the team is able to adapt this information for use in split-second gameplay.


“I think what it does is it helps our strategy, the type of, you know, in passing situations, the type of rushes and how often we blitz and the different techniques our pass rushers were using were modified to play Aaron Rodgers a certain way,” Garrett said. “I don’t think it can be complete 100% implementation we’re going to do this, but we can modify what we’re doing to take advantage of the information that we have on our opponent.


Still, there are some issues and struggles with the data, with some tendencies that are harder to predict. Judd, however, is confident in the new wave of information being released, and knows his father, former Dallas Cowboys scout, Jim Garrett, would be on board, too.


“My dad was a very innovative-minded person. I think he would fully embrace any type of information that could give us an advantage,” Garrett said. “They’ve just released to the teams what is called ghost Next Gen Statistics, that uses a GPS tracking system to plot the movement of every player on the field. I think there’s going to be a lot of groundbreaking work on analyzing football through using these type of statistics.”


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