Every year here on BTB, shortly after the draft, we ask the front page writers and BTB members to commit to their pet cats for the season.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a pet cat is a bubble player commonly found at the bottom of the roster. Some people have pet cats that are late-round draft picks; that is usually frowned upon, as even mid- to late-round draft picks face good odds of making the roster. But for the down-roster pet cats, usually undrafted free agents or even street free agents, simply making the practice squad is often considered a great success.
The pet cat defies all quantifiable facts in becoming your pet cat; there is even reason to believe that you do not choose your pet cat, instead, your pet cat chooses you.
But there comes a time when all the pet cat-ism in the world can't help a player, and that's during final roster cuts. Over the weekend, the Cowboys finalized (sort of) their 53-man roster and their practice squad. Your pet cat made it or didn't make it. It is time for the Great Pet Cat Reckoning.
We'll start our reckoning with a look at which pet cats the BTB writers had over the last two years, and how that worked out for the pet cats involved. In both of the last two years, the writers picked most of their pet cats from the ranks of the undrafted free agents, but not all of them:
|Draft pick||UDFA||Draft pick||UDFA|
|KD Drummond||Lance Dunbar||Joseph Randle|
|OCC||Ronald Leary||Jakar Hamilton|
|rabblerousr||Adrian Hamilton||Brandon Magee|
|Archie Barberio||Adrian Hamilton||Brandon Magee|
|Coty Saxman||Eddie Whitley||Kendial Lawrence|
|Tom Ryle||Danny Coale||Disqualified|
|Joey Ickes||- -||B.W. Webb|
I have thought long and hard about a fair way to assess the front page writers on their pet cat-picking acumen, but regardless of which method I used, how many points I allocated, and how often I constructed a new algorithm, the guy who picked Ron Leary always came out on top.
Of the six picks we made in 2012, half are still with the Cowboys, so that's got to be a good success rate. This year, four remain with the team, with the obvious caveat that two of those guys were draft picks. At the time we published our pet cats in early May, many BTB readers submitted their pet cats in the comments thread. My totally unscientific tally of those votes, counting only comments with a maximum of two votes and ignoring pet cat claims for Tony Romo and the like, shows the following favorites:
|8||Brandon Magee, Devonte Holloman, J.J. Wilcox|
|7||Dustin Harris, Joseph Randle|
|5||Ben Bass, Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, Ronald Leary|
|4||Tank Reed, Dave Arkin, B.J. Stewart|
|3||B.W. Webb, Travis Frederick, Cole Beasley|
|2||Barry Church, Terrance Williams, Jakar Hamilton, Darrion Weems, Cameron Lawrence, Nick Stephens|
|1||Darrin Moore, Micah Pellerin, Devin Smith, Danny Coale, Ray Dominguez, Eric Rogers, Doug Free, Alex Albright, Jeff Heath, Rob Callaway, Dalton Williams, Kevin Kowalski, Sterling Moore, Tyrone Crawford, Jermey Parnell, Kyle Wilber, Spencer Benton|
40 players were picked in total. Some of them left the Cowboys early, some didn't make the roster over the weekend, some wouldn't strictly qualify as pets cats anyway, and some ended up making the team.The biggest leap of all the players on this roster was made by unheralded safety Jeff Heath, who came out of nowhere to take a spot on the 53-man roster. This makes BTB-member AirmanMedicFarmer, whose choice was "Coale, or Heath", the winner of the 2013 pet cat trophy.
Tell us about your pet cat. Who did you pick at the time?