For roughly $429 a night, a scout or coach from the New York Giants, Washington Redskins or any other NFL franchise can watch the Dallas Cowboys practice. So can you.
Just be sure when you check into the Omni Frisco Hotel to ask for room 1601. The room is not the Honeymoon Suite, but it may as well be the Dallas Cowboys Suite.
Or if you lean toward the budget-conscious side, just take a sharp left off the elevator and look out the windows of the 16th floor. There is a good, affordable view of the two outdoor practice fields at The Star in Frisco.
While every other NFL franchise and every head coach whacks away at how much time the media can watch of a practice and keeps all of them but training camp closed to fans, the Cowboys are committed to remaining an open (play) book.
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“We have a few rooms here that offer a really good view of it; it’s what Jerry (Jones) wanted when they built (The Star complex),” a desk attendant at the Frisco Omni told me. “I’m a football fan so I will go up there and watch it from time to time. You can see on game weeks they pretty much hide their offense, and they take it inside (the Ford Center). But anything on defense you can see. You can see who is practicing and getting ready to play, and who they are holding out.”
Technically, all of the rooms from the 11th to the 16th floors facing the west offer views of the Cowboys practice field. That detail is a point of sale for rooms that offer one king bed, two 55-inch TVs, a soaking tub, dual vanities and a separate seating area.
The rooms on the 16th floor that face west, however, offer the best views of a Cowboys’ practice. A set of binoculars would be nice, too. Both practice fields are visible, with the exception of approximately 25 yards on the east side of the two fields.
Given the advanced state of video cameras these days, it would not be hard to film a large chunk of practice to see just exactly what America’s Team is doing during a given workout.
And, if you are part of a group that rents out one of the Omni Frisco conference rooms, the hotel offers office spaces that overlook the indoor practice field at The Ford Center. People who rent those rooms are only supposed to watch a practice, but as evidenced by the photograph in this piece, it’s not hard to take a shot with a cell phone.
This is another illustration of just how needless, pointless and self-important NFL teams have become in their quest for a “schematic advantage,” and hiding themselves when it’s really not necessary. Nothing says NFL like rules for the national anthem — and paranoia.
Coaches from all levels go to extreme lengths to ensure the privacy of their practice while the Cowboys do what the Cowboys do. Win? No. Sell.
If you think the view from the 16th floor from the Omni Frisco is good, wait until the condo complex just north of the practice fields is complete. The top two floors, at least, of that development will offer perfect views of the outdoor practice fields at The Star.
If would be momentous if any other NFL team made a large portion of its practices openly available. With the Cowboys, it’s simply a part of their brand.
When the team’s headquarters were on Forest Lane and Abrams in Dallas from 1967 to 1984, the practice fields were next to a motel. Coach Tom Landry discovered members of the Washington Redskins’ scouting department would rent out a room or two to “spy” on the Cowboys’ practices.
Cowboys president Tex Schramm would then rent out the entire upstairs of the motel on the days the Cowboys practiced to prevent any opponent from advanced scouting.
When the team moved from Dallas to its headquarters at Valley Ranch, there was no motel or hotel within close proximity ... although there was a nice “White House.”
There were also two-story and condos, some of which featured a clear view of the Cowboys’ practice fields.
Now the Cowboys are in Frisco, at The Star, and doing what the Cowboys do best: Sell themselves.
And for only $429 a night you can watch the Cowboys prepare play the Giants, Eagles or Redskins. Their coaches can, too.