Stretching the hamstrings may be the key to injury prevention for some football players.

This week, sports news media are getting a kick out of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team installing ballet barres outside their locker rooms, but the move certainly makes sense to us!

One of the team’s top players recently tore an ACL, and 12 more suffered hamstring injuries last season. Now, coaches are finally getting serious about increasing flexibility. “We’ve put a big emphasis on addressing some of the injuries we’ve had,” head coach Jason Garrett has stated. The ballet barres and other new gym equipment are part of an increased “emphasis on stretching,” he adds, giving players more tools and opportunities to stretch in hopes of preventing future injuries.

The decision sounds like an important step in the right direction. We only hope those Cowboys learn some proper dynamic and age-appropriate stretches to go with their new studio equipment.

Photo: Allison Beler, by Emily Giacalone

Presenting a young Peter Martins, Twyla Tharp and '70s NFL icon Lynn Swann in Tharp's Dance is a Man's Sport, Too. (And thanks to our sister publication Dance Magazine for sharing it!) Swann is known for taking ballet classes to improve his vertical jump and agility on the field. In this clip, he shows off his leaping prowess against Martins, who of course went on to direct New York City Ballet. Who has the better ups?

“Dancing with the Stars” premieres tonight at 8, with a promising lineup of contestants, including athletes, singers and even Bill Nye the Science Guy! Swann's former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, plays at 8:40.

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