Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up and Out.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Game Day: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The annual analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

The NFL will expand its impact far beyond AT&T Stadium this Draft week through community events across Arlington, Dallas and the surrounding areas. From youth football clinics to character-building initiatives, military appreciation and school celebrations, thousands of local children and their families will experience the excitement of Draft through a series of free events.

NFL Draft Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown Celebration

Nearly 500 students from Dallas-Fort Worth area elementary schools will come to AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, April 24 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. for a youth health and wellness celebration hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, Dairy MAX, NFL and Fuel Up to Play 60. The celebration honors schools and students that have successfully completed the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, achieving Touchdown status.

Student teams will participate in a pep rally and a physical activity that reinforces the program's healthy message. Activities will be led by Dallas Cowboys Legends DeMarcus Ware and Bradie James, along with representatives from USA Football, and featuring Charlotte Jones Anderson and Fuel Up to Play 60 NFL Draft Ambassador and Frisco Heritage High School student, Trinity Williams.

NFL Draft Play Football Clinic and Character Playbook Hour

NFL Draft prospects will lead more than 125 local middle school students in a Play Football NFL Draft clinic and 750 local middle school students in the Character Playbook Hour on Wednesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. at AT&T Stadium.

A group of Draft prospects will instruct participants in various non-contact football skills including passing, receiving and agility. The clinic will take place on the Play Football Field presented by Danimals at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®.

Simultaneously, the NFL and the United Way will host the Character Playbook Hour on the West Platform at AT&T Stadium. Launched at the 2016 NFL Draft in Chicago, Character Playbook is a joint initiative of the NFL and United Way Worldwide powered by EverFi,

The digital course uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. The event returns to the NFL Draft stage in 2018 to celebrate having engaged more than 200,000 students and 2,000 schools nationwide to date.

With Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick as emcee, teams of local students will partner with a group of Draft prospects to complete challenges and vie for the title of Character Champion. Following the Game Show, Cowboys Legend and Community Ambassador DeMarcus Ware will speak to the students about character and participate in a Q&A discussion on-stage with Frederick and Draft prospects.

NFL Draft Legacy Event and Ground-Breaking Ceremony

The City of Arlington, Dallas Cowboys, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation and NFL have teamed up to ensure that the legacy of the Draft in Dallas extends beyond the week's festivities.

On Wednesday, April 25 at 12:30 p.m., the NFL and Dallas Cowboys will host a ground-breaking ceremony at Workman Junior High to announce the 2018 NFL Draft Legacy Project. Representatives from the NFL, Dallas Cowboys, and City of Arlington, Arlington Independent School District and local junior high students from Arlington ISD will be in attendance. 

Arlington ISD Community Quarterback High School Football Volunteer Challenge

The Dallas Cowboys challenged six Arlington ISD high school football teams to execute service projects that impact their campus, neighborhood and feeder communities during Draft Week. Student-athletes could apply for grant funds to complete their efforts. Projects created by the high school teams include community beautification endeavors, courtyard refurbishments, elementary-focused reading initiatives and more.

Beginning Wednesday, April 25, NFL Draft Community Ambassadors DeMarcus Ware and Drew Pearson will join Cowboys alumni to visit the project worksites.

NFL Play Football Prospect Family Brunch

Parents of NFL Draft Prospects will join local high school football players and their families for a special recognition and networking brunch on Thursday, April 26. Families will participate in a meet-and-greet and forum focused on the values learned playing football. The event will be led by NFL Legend Scott Turner.

NFL Play Football Summer Season Kickoff Clinics

In celebration of the Play Football Summer Season, the NFL will host a series of non-contact football clinics for local youth on Friday, April 27. As Draft Prospects embark on their NFL journey, younger members of the football family will have a chance to play the game at AT&T Stadium.

Play Football Summer Season clinics at the Draft are free and open to the public. Clinics will be led by USA Football certified coaches with appearances by NFL players and Legends.

This summer, hundreds of current and former NFL players and coaches will host youth camps and activities for kids across the country. Camps and activities will focus on teaching the young athletes proper technique and emphasizing the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, and the positive values learned by playing football. Families interested in registering may view a list of confirmed activities on the Play Football website.

Play Football Red Carpet Celebration

High school football programs from school districts including Arlington, Dallas and Frisco will walk the red carpet prior to the opening of Round 2 of the Draft. on Friday, April 27. Media and aspiring high school journalists will be on hand to interview the players. NFL Legend and NFL Network talent Willie McGinest will host the live event.

Homes For Our Troops Ground-Breaking Ceremony

The NFL, in collaboration with Homes For Our Troops, will celebrate the start of construction on a new, specially-adapted custom home for Marine Corps veteran Omar Milan, who was injured serving in Afghanistan.

Homes For Our Troops is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping injured post-9/11 veterans rebuild their lives. Representatives from the NFL, Dallas Cowboys and Homes For Our Troops will host the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday, April 28, in Mansfield, Texas. The event is open to the public.  

NFL Draft Play Football Family Football Clinic

The NFL Draft Family Football Clinic will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 12:30-2 p.m. at the Play Football Field presented by Danimals at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®This event will give local kids an opportunity to participate in a non-contact football clinic with USA Football coaches.

The clinic is free and open to the public. Families may register through NFL Fan Mobile Pass.

NFL Draft Experienceship

The NFL Draft Experienceship offers high school students the opportunity to learn and understand careers in the business of sports and sports marketing. This year's participants include local high school students from industry certification programs at the Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center.

The AISD students will tour the NFL Draft Theater and NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®. They will meet with various NFL officials who will provide exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights. Afterwards, the students will volunteer at various activations within the NFL Draft Experience.

Arlington ISD Student-Athlete Mentorship Program

Arlington ISD high school student-athletes across all sports – both boys' and girls' – have spent the last few weeks mentoring their junior high counterparts and implementing InSideOut character education lessons. The older athletes were encouraged to serve as role models for the younger students by attending practices and hosting character discussions and teambuilding events prior to NFL Draft.

Arlington ISD served as a national pilot for the NFL Foundation's InSideOut Character Initiative, which demonstrates how coaches of all sports and all genders can work across an entire school district to change the win-at-all-cost culture of sports.

Note: Coach-submitted video and photos are available upon request to Cowboys Community Relations.

Thank You, Coach

For the first time, NFL Draft prospects will have the opportunity to say, "Thank You, Coach" to the high school coach who most impacted their life. Each Draft prospect invited to the NFL Draft may invite his high school coach to Dallas to participate in the festivities. Each coach will also receive a $2,500 equipment grant.

Coach activities include a welcome reception, a behind-the-scenes tour of the NFL Draft and an opportunity to attend the 2018 NFL Draft and see their former athlete become a member of the NFL family.

NFL Play Football Clinics

Thousands of children from the Dallas community and public visitors attending the 2018 Draft are invited to take part in free, non-contact football clinics at the Play Football Field presented by Danimals at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero® April 26-28.

Daily clinics are open to boys and girls ages 6-17 on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Thursday, April 26:   12:00 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 27:        12:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 28:    10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

NFL PLAY 60 Zone presented by Danimals,

The NFL PLAY 60 Zone is an interactive area designed for the youngest NFL fans to get active and moving. The space, presented by Danimals inside NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®, includes an obstacle course, virtual fitness stations and more. Attractions include:

  • NFL PLAY 60 Zone Obstacle Course presented by SpaghettiOs – Race through agility drills just like the pros. Test your high jump abilities and weave through mini-tackling dummies.
  • Kids' Quarterback Challenge – Test your passing skills. 
  • Gear Up and Go – Try on NFL equipment and feel what it's like to gear up for gameday.
  • Kids' Extra Point Kick – Test your ability to kick a field goal through the uprights.
  • NFL PLAY 60 App Station– Run, jump and turn through a simulated world in an app designed by NFL PLAY 60 and the American Heart Association.
  • NFL RUSH Green Screen – Take a photo at the NFL RUSH green screen and play football mini-games as your favorite team on the NFL RUSH Gameday app.

Fuel Up to Play 60 NFL Draft Student Reporter

Trinity Williams, a student at Frisco Heritage High School, will serve as the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) Student Reporter at the 2018 NFL Draft. Williams will participate in various events leading up to the Draft, including the Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown Celebration event and a behind-the-scenes experience of Draft Night. The experience includes an opportunity to cover the red carpet, a tour of AT&T stadium and access to press conferences with prospects after they have been drafted. Williams will announce a Round 7 Draft pick on-stage at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, April 29.

NFL Draft Special Guests

Special guests from the NFL Family and NFL's nonprofit partners will participate in Draft festivities in several ways.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® Pick Announcement

St. Jude patient Austin, 17, will join Commissioner Goodell onstage at AT&T Stadium to announce the Denver Broncos' Round 1 pick. Austin, a Broncos fan, joined NFL Network's "Up to the Minute" to break the news and analyze the team's Draft needs.

An aspiring NFL broadcaster, Austin was diagnosed with oligoastrocytoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of two. He has been in remission since 2007. Now a junior in high school, Austin is an announcer for a sports radio show in his hometown, as well as on-air personality and prep sports statistician for local ESPN radio in New Mexico.

NFL PLAY 60 is the "official champion of play" at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, helping to give all kids the chance to PLAY 60 and lead active and healthy lives.

Salute to Service - Military Appreciation

The NFL will honor active duty service members, veterans and their families at events throughout Draft Week.

On Thursday, April 26, a joint color guard from Joint Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth will join talent on-stage during the national anthem to open the Draft.

On Friday, April 27, the NFL will continue to honor our nation's heroes with military appreciation moments during Rounds 2 and 3.

The NFL is also teaming with the USO, TAPS and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to host active duty service members from all five branches of the military and veterans for all three days of the Draft.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Recognition

Round 3 Draft announcements will feature past recipients and team winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. The award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field. It represents the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact.

Youth and High School Football

Football captains from six Arlington ISD schools will take the stage alongside Commissioner Goodell to represent the Dallas Cowboys during their Round 1 pick. 

The high schools whose football players will be represented include:

  • Arlington High School
  • Bowie High School
  • Juan Seguin High School
  • Lamar High School
  • Martin High School
  • Sam Houston High School

Round 6 of the NFL Draft will be Play Football-themed and celebrate youth and high school football participants across the country. Youth football players from NFL FLAG and local youth and high school football have been selected by NFL Clubs to announce Round 6 picks from various locations throughout the country.

NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®

Fans will have the opportunity to take part in free activities throughout Draft week at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®.

The NFL Draft Experience is an expansive, interactive celebration outside of AT&T Stadium. Fans of all ages may participate in interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more.

By registering for Fan Mobile Pass, fans will receive a personal scan code giving them exclusive access to NFL Draft Experience attractions. They will also have the chance to receive standby tickets to the NFL Draft Theater.

Celebrating Creativity Through Student Art Installation

AT&T Stadium will host an installation of football-themed art helmets created by Arlington ISD seventh-graders at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®. Since the art program's inception, more than 13,500 Arlington ISD elementary students have visited AT&T Stadium and created artwork inspired by the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection.

The helmets will be signed by NFL Draft Community Ambassador and former Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware. They will be made available on NFL Auction beginning April 26, with proceeds benefiting future Arlington ISD art programs.