Jason Garrett wants the Cowboys to know the Pythagorean theorem


Cowboys coach Jason Garrett graduated from Princeton, and he wants to have smart players on his team.

Specifically, Garrett wants players with a firm grasp of geometry, which includes understanding the Pythagorean theorem, which states that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two legs. Garrett thinks it’s important to know that when thinking about how long it will take a player to run between two points on the field.

“If you’re running straight from the line of scrimmage, six yards deep, that’s a certain depth, right? It takes you a certain amount of time,” Garrett said. “But if you’re doing it from 10 yards inside and running to that same six yards, that’s the hypotenuse of that right triangle. It’s longer, right? So they have to understand that, that it takes longer to do that. That’s an important thing. Quarterbacks need to understand that, too. If you’re running a route from here to get to that spot, it’s going to be a little longer, you might need to be a little fuller in your drop.”

Garrett said he told players to look up the Pythagorean theorem if they didn’t know it.

“We talked about Pythagorus and it’s been going for the last few days,” Garrett said.

Players on the Cowboys may not be thrilled about getting a math lecture, but Garrett just did a big favor to geometry teachers across the country. This fall, when schoolkids across the country inevitably ask when they’re going to need to know this in real life, their teachers can say that if you want to play in the NFL, you’d better know the Pythagorean theorem.

66 responses to “Jason Garrett wants the Cowboys to know the Pythagorean theorem

  1. By you people saying Morris Claiborne will have problems because of the infamous “wonderlic” scores. Just know he didn’t take the test at all resulting in the lowest score possible. FYI

  2. Pretty sure we learn this around grade 8 in Canada. How would a college grad be expected to know this?

  3. Cowboy player sets up on the line

    Cowboy player starts thinking about what the hell a hypotenuse is.

    Cowboy player then begins thinking, “When did I end up on my back?”

  4. I want the RHG to quit icing his kickers and understand the concept of a balanced offense. There’s this thing called a slant pass. Look it up, Jason.

  5. doomsdaydefensetx says:
    Jul 24, 2013 4:28 PM
    By you people saying Morris Claiborne will have problems because of the infamous “wonderlic” scores. Just know he didn’t take the test at all resulting in the lowest score possible. FYI

    No one really cares. FYI

  6. It makes perfect sense for players to be thinking about how shifting from one spot on the line to another is going to effect the time that they arrive at the same destination. It keeps receivers from arriving to the ball late and there being an interception, and it keeps Romo from overthrowing guys. It helps defenders figure out the angle that they are going to take to cut off a runner or how to adjust yourself on the line of scrimmage to create an efficient path to the QB.

    This is 9th grade math guys, not rocket surgery.

  7. He then tried to explain the Law of sines. They all thought he meant “signs” and started looking at the walls in the classroom…..

  8. Dear Santa,
    Please let Jerry Jones be the owner of the Cowboys and Jason Garrett be the coach of the Cowboys forever. Signed– A loyal Eagles fan.

  9. You have to find a way to relate to these players and teach them in a way they will understand.

    This ain’t it. And his 35 minute boring speech the other day was not it either.

  10. Now he has to teach Romo that the shortest distance between two points is not a wobbly throw that gets intercepted and run back to the point where Tony has to try to tackle the defensive player.

  11. You don’t need to understand the equation to know that it takes longer to run the same distance diagonally any more than you need to understand the physics of jet propulsion in order to fly in a plane.

  12. That wasn’t a very good explanation of the Pythagorean theorem. The sides of a triangle do not have areas, they have lengths. If you create a square off each side of the triangle, then the sum of the areas of the squares equals the area of the square created off the hypotenuse. But nobody thinks of it that way. Just say that the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is the square root of the sum of the square of the length of the other two sides.

  13. If he’s that smart why did he turn down two well run teams in the ravens and falcons to become jerry jones puppet? The Garrett fallacy.

  14. Make fun all you want, but Garrett is 100% correct.

    Because you don’t understand and/or don’t want to, doesn’t make him wrong. It makes you uneducated.

  15. In other words:

    49ers² + Seahawks² = No chance for Dallas representing the NFC anytime soon²

  16. Just talk about pursuit angles, man. They teach that in middle school football and onward.

    Don’t outsmart yourself.

  17. @cowgirls and their fans . LOL LOL LOL AND LMAO LMAO LMAO. 4-12 at best.!!!!!!!

  18. This is fairly simple math…

    It sounds to me as if he is using it to help players find the fastest point of contact with the ball carrier or reciever they are covering…

    Again things my coach’s got us started on in like pee wee or rec. center city leagues by the time we were 13….

    Just saying…

    Also you would have to know the top speed of the D-Back/Reciever and how quick they get moving that fast…

    This is a joke… Isnt it?

  19. Yes smart players are a major plus. Especially players with “football smarts”. As far as higher math skills go, how about teaching Romo about angles, trajectory, velocity, and in general how not to throw interceptions? Bryant, Claiborne meh. Just teach them how to hold on to the ball, and where the first down marker is.

  20. If Garrett doesn’t start winning more games, Dallas fans will be putting a hypotenuse around his neck!

  21. That theorem has nothing to do with calculating the time it would take to get from point A to point B in comparison with the time it would take to get to point C from point B. (different starting points A/B, to reach the same destination C)

    Garrett, in trying to make himself sound smart, did the opposite to the guys that actually have any understanding of geometry.

  22. One of the better collections of fan witticisms I’ve read in a long while, I tip my hat to you all, and also to the Jerry and Jason show for providing the content.

  23. Garrett is in the same situation as Norv Turner was last year. Win or your gone Garrett, Romo and most of the older players. Jerry will replace the whole damned bunch of you.

  24. So, the Cowboys are just starting to learn to run to where the ball will be, and not where it was. Good lord. So happy I’m not a Cowboys fan.

  25. Next year when they suck he can say it’s because they didn’t do their math homework!

  26. bunjy96 says:
    Jul 24, 2013 4:55 PM
    Make fun all you want, but Garrett is 100% correct.

    Because you don’t understand and/or don’t want to, doesn’t make him wrong. It makes you uneducated.

    They teach you how to take angles in pee-wee; that’s enough. What Garrett is doing is going to cause his players to over-think on the field, and you don’t want that. The guy is not fit to be a HC.

  27. Garrett if you’re going to teach geometry, then you need to stop drafting players that scored about a 5 on the Wonderlic.

    Here is a little math for you Jason.
    8-8 season + 8-8 season = no job.
    It’s known as the Jerry Jones theorem.

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