Did you know that if you mention the term "Pet Cat" to fans of other teams you'll probably draw nothing more than a blank stare? Yet among Cowboys fans, almost everybody knows what a pet cat is. In fact, if you search for the term "Pet Cat" across all 32 SB Nation NFL blogs, you'll find 1,837 comments with "Pet Cat" in them. All but 37 of those comments are on Blogging The Boys. Why is that?
"Pet Cat" is a Parcells-ism, a term Bill Parcells popularized among Cowboys fans during his tenure as head coach in Dallas. The term initially referred to a prospect whom a coach, scout or owner had taken a particular liking to, often based on little more than a whim, and whom they would then try to draft, regardless of what the scouting consensus was.
Among Cowboys fans, pet cat has since come to refer to a player who is a bubble player (even making the practice squad is often considered pet cat success) and is commonly selected from the very bottom of the roster where you'll find late-round draft picks, undrafted free agents or even street free agents. The pet cat is often - and preferably - chosen without the slightest factual or quantifiable basis. In fact, some would argue that you do not choose your pet cat, your pet cat chooses you.
Every year, the BTB front-page writers select their pet cats. Last year, KD Drummond picked Lance Dunbar and I picked Ronald Leary. Both picks are still on the roster so that's some good mojo right there.
Rabblerousr and Archie Barberio both picked Adrian Hamilton and Coty Saxman picked Eddie Whitley; neither player made the final roster. Tom Ryle picked Danny Coale, who suffered a stress fracture in his foot during OTAs, was sidelined for parts of camp with a quad injury and then tore his ACL during practice in November. So these guys have to be a little more careful with their picks this year, while Tom doesn't get to pick at all.
Archie: Brandon Magee, LB, ASU
Out of the undrafted litter, he's got the best chance to make this football team and actually produce. If not for the Achilles injury and baseball concerns, I believe Magee would've been a third or fourth-round pick. A tremendous athlete from a large conference and elite production is hard to find in the undrafted market. Magee is great for depth at all three linebacker positions, but this kid has the talent and athletic ability to become a starting linebacker in the NFL.
OCC: Jakar Hamilton, S, South Carolina State
I called instant pet cat dibs on Hamilton as soon as his visit to Dallas was announced in early April, and I see no reason to change. At his Pro Day workout, the 5-foot-11, 186-pounder ran the 40 in 4.51 seconds and posted a 40 1/2 inch vertical leap. He only bench-pressed 225 pounds seven times, but had a 4.32 20-yard shuttle and a 6.93 three-cone drill. Hamilton is a hybrid defensive back with experience at both corner and safety. His best bet to make the team will come via special teams, and if he hangs around, he could be an effective player down the road.
KD Drummond: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Randle's ability to slide right into the running back rotation means that he will get plenty of opportunities. His pass blocking skill means it will include crucial 3rd down situations. Throw in Murray's injury history and we have a winner.
Coty Saxman: Kendial Lawrence, RB, Missouri
Kendial Lawrence has the speed, small size, and playmaking-behind-bad-OLines ability that make him an excellent choice as a change-of-pace back for the Cowboys. Sure, they drafted Joseph Randle, but Randle's lack of speed make him more of a guy to absorb punishment in Murray's absence than a guy who will become a threat to score from anywhere like Murray and Lawrence.
Joey Ickes, B. W. Webb, CB, Wlliam & Mary
We have all witnessed Orlando Scandrick looking all over getting turned around as Victor Cruz or another slot receiver catches the ball for an important first down late in a big game. Or we've seen the ball fly right over his shoulder as he doesn't get his head around in coverage. Combine these items with his relatively large salary, and fans everywhere have been screaming for a replacement. That guy is finally on the Cowboys roster. B.W Webb from William and Mary is a slot CB with what Bryan Broaddus calls "rare" quickness as exhibited by his 3.84 20 yd shuttle time, who also has great ball skills (8 INTs his Freshman year, before teams stopped throwing at him). He's a willing tackler who will come up, pop you, and wrap up to finish the hit. My feeling is that he's stealing snaps from Scandrick by mid season and makes #32 expendable next off-season.
rabblerousr: Brandon Magee, LB, ASU
In writing up profiles on all the Cowboys draft targets, several of them jumped out at me, usually because of their attitude or approach to the game. Magee was one of these; not only is he a terrific athlete, but he's a passionate, charismatic player, who was the Sun Devils' undisputed leader, both on the field and in the clubhouse. In the comments section of my profile on Magee, one of our readers, Az St Cowboy (who I would assume knows a bit about ASU football) wrote: " If you’re looking for the RKG, he is that in spades. He is credited with being the leader of the D and some would argue the entire team last year, leading them through a challenging transition from Dennis Ericksson's laid back system to Todd Graham’s more disciplined RKG mentality. At worst he’d be a great teams guy..." With the transition to Kiffin's 4-3, the team needed to rebuild its linebacking unit (I believe both Kyle Wilber and Alex Albright will line up at DE in 2013), and targeted undersized guys who play with quickness and intensity and who excel in coverage. That's Magee. There's a reason they offered him a 70,000 signing bonus...
After the events of last season, known as the Legend of the Goatmouth and normally spoken of only in hushed tones after making the sign of the cross and spitting three times on a picture of John Mara, Tom Ryle has withdrawn into seclusion. All rumors that he is busy channeling his prodigious amounts of bad juju into cursing the NFC East opponents are, of course, ridiculous. However, he is asking if anyone knows who handles the trash pickup for the locker rooms of the Eagles, Giants and Redskins, and if someone can spare him a box of extra long pins.
Now that you've seen which players the BTB writers have picked as their pet cats, check out the up-to-the-minute Cowboys roster below and tell us:
Who is your pet cat to make the roster this year?
|2012 53-man roster||Injured Reserve|
|1||Albright, Alex||LB||48||Bass, Ben||DT|
|2||Arkin, David||G||49||Brent, Josh||DT|
|3||Austin, Miles||WR||50||Carter, Bruce||LB|
|4||Bailey, Dan||K||51||Church, Barry||S|
|5||Beasley, Cole||WR||52||Coale, Danny||WR|
|6||Bernadeau, Mackenzy||G||53||Costa, Phil||C|
|7||Bryant, Dez||WR||54||Johnson, Matt||S|
|8||Callaway, Robert||DT||55||Jones, Chris||P|
|9||Carr, Brandon||CB||56||Lee, Sean||LB|
|10||Claiborne, Morris||CB||57||McSurdy, Caleb||LB|
|11||Cook, Ryan||C/G||58||Scandrick, Orlando||CB|
|13||Dunbar, Lance||RB||59||Armstrong, Anthony||WR|
|14||Free, Doug||OT||60||Benford, Tim||WR|
|15||Hanna, James||TE||61||Cochart, Colin||TE|
|16||Harris, Dwayne||WR||62||Dominguez, Ray||G|
|17||Hatcher, Jason||DT||63||Green, Jared||WR|
|18||Kowalski, Kevin||C||64||Hayden, Nick||DT|
|19||Ladouceur, L.P.||LS||65||Hughlett, Charley||LS|
|20||Leary, Ronald||G||66||Igbinosun, Ikponmwosa||DT|
|21||Lissemore, Sean||DE||67||Mitchell, Carlton||WR|
|22||Livings, Nate||G||68||Price, Brian||DT|
|23||McCray, Danny||S||69||Sheffield, Cameron||LB|
|24||Moore, Sterling||CB||70||Simmons, Aderious||T|
|25||Murray, DeMarco||RB||71||Smith, Andre||TE|
|26||Orton, Kyle||QB||72||Stephens, Nick||QB|
|27||Parnell, Jermey||OT||73||Taylor, Monte||DT|
|28||Ratliff, Jay||DT||74||Underwood, Brandon||CB|
|29||Romo, Tony||QB||75||Pellerin, Micah||S|
|31||Smith, Tyron||OT||76||Benton, Spencer||K|
|32||Spencer, Anthony||LB||77||Brewer, Xavier||CB|
|33||Tanner, Phillip||RB||78||Freedman, Paul||TE/FB|
|34||Vickers, Lawrence||FB||79||Hamilton, Jakar||FS|
|35||Ware, DeMarcus||LB||80||Harris, Dustin||CB/KR|
|36||Weems, Darrion||OT||81||Heath, Jeff||SS|
|37||Wilber, Kyle||LB||82||Herd, Greg||WR|
|38||Witten, Jason||TE||83||Lacy, Deon||LB|
|Free Agent Acquisitions||84||Lawrence, Cameron||LB|
|39||Allen, Will||S||85||Lawrence, Kendial||RB|
|40||Durant, Justin||LB||86||Magee, Brandon||LB|
|Draft Picks||87||Reed, Tank||LB|
|41||Escobar, Gavin||TE||88||Rogers, Eric||WR|
|42||Frederick, Travis||OC||89||Smith, Devin||CB|
|43||Holloman, DeVonte||LB||90||Williams, Dalton||QB|
|45||Webb, B.W.||CB||xx||Stewart, B.J.||TE|
|46||Wilcox, J.J.||S||xx||Charlie Bryant
|47||Williams, Terrance||WR||xx||Darrin Moore||WR|