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Who are the Dallas Cowboy Clones?

I recently read an interesting article in Wall Street Journal about the Green Bay Packers and how they stock their roster with "clones" of players that have target measurables of 6-2 and 250lbs. The theory is these players, typically LB's and TE's, are interchangeable, allowing for greater flexibility and competitive advantage.The article cited 15 such players on their 90 man roster. And yes, WSJ has a sports page - here's a link to the article Green Bay's Army of Clones

This, of course, got me thinking about the Cowboys and how they compare to the Packers' roster. I took a look at the most up to date roster (76 players at time of this writing) and performed some simple analysis to determine what, if any prototypical measurable the Cowboys are looking for these days. My findings after the jump.

The median height for the Dallas Cowboys is 6-2, and the median weight is 245lbs - near identical to the target measurables of the Packer clones.The question I had was 1) how many players fit in that target range and 2) was there another set of measurables (height/weight) that might indicate a different target for the Cowboys.
Since the WSJ article included a 6-4 TE, I counted players with a height of 6-2, plus or minus 2 inches - and weight of 250 lbs, plus or minus 10 lbs. If you count Kyle Wilbur, at 239, the Cowboys have 11 such players. Here's the list:
# NAME POS. HT. WT.
57 Butler, Victor LB 6-2 249
45 Chapas, Shaun FB 6-2 249
53 Hamilton, Adrian LB 6-2 246
84 Hanna, James TE 6-4 249
44 Hughlett, Charley LS 6-4 242
50 Lee, Sean LB 6-2 245
58 Lemon, Orie LB 6-1 246
93 Spencer, Anthony LB 6-3 257
47 Vickers, Lawrence FB 6-1 250
94 Ware, DeMarcus LB 6-4 260
51 Wilber, Kyle LB 6-4 239

Maybe you'll note that the one player that fits the Cowboy's median measurements of 6-2, 245 lbs is none other than Chuck Norris Sean Lee. Not a bad prototype. Other observations, it's interesting to see a LS, Hughlett, on there, but otherwise no real surprises - mostly LB's, a TE and one FB who may or may not make the 53. So 11 players out of 76 is a 14% concentration vs. 17% for the Packers.

To see if there were a higher concentration of any other weight/height combinations I checked all possible 20lb weight ranges and 4 inch height ranges (i.e., x lbs +/- 10 lbs and y height +/- 2 inches), If such concentrations are an indication of a team targeting a certain player build, then the Cowboys are cloning smaller players.

The highest concentration of measurables for the Boy's is 6-0 and 210 lbs. We've got 14 such players on the roster, or 18% of the players. Here's a breakdown of how many players fit into the different ranges:

Height Weight (+/- 10 lbs)
(+/- 2") 200 210 220 230 240 250 260
6-5 1 1 2 4 4 7 7
6-4 1 5 4 7 9 11 7
6-3 10 13 7 11 12 12 6
6-2 9 12 7 11 12 10 3
6-1 10 12 6 9 9 7 2
6-0 12 14 5 7 8 6 1
5-11 12 10 3 4 3 2 1
5-10 4 2 0 0 0 0 0

BTW, position breakdown of the 14 are 4 S, 3 CB, 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 QB and 1 P.

Now, I'm not sure there's anything telling about these measurement clusters - other than it probably supports what Papa Parcell's used to say that for every position, there's a prototypical size.

So, what does all this mean? No clue, I just got bored and started playing with numbers - but I know if anybody can provide some insight from this data, it will be my brothers here on BTB. Have at it!

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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