[Ed Note] Some of the players chosen by rabblerousr below are going to upset some people. Please discuss civilly in the comments. And he threw my boy Tashard Choice under the bus! - Dave [End Note]
Ever since our newly-minted head coach introduced it in his post-draft press conference, we have been throwing around the term "The Right Kind of Guy" to describe the kind of players Garrett wants on the team as he attempts to restore the "Cowboy Way," which is shorthand for playing like the 90s Cowboys. Inspired by this, I penned two earlier posts in which I parsed out exactly what it means to be an "RKG." In the first of these, I discussed the 2011 draft class, comparing them to the guys brought in in 2005. In the second installment, I wondered which players on the current squad are most likely to have acquired RKG status in Garrett's eyes.
Today, in the final post of the series, I'd like to think about the "wrong kind of guys." In the same post-draft press conference in which he articulated an RKG's traits, Garrett was asked whether there was such a thing as a "WKG." His response was telling (thanks to O.C.C. for his meticulous transcription work):
Sure. And you know what those guys are. The guys who don't love to play football. Guys who don't love to work. The guys who don't love to be around their teammates. The guys who aren't trying to be the best they can be. All those things.
Garrett quickly moved to a discussion of RKGs, stressing that the team has a lot of players that approach the game the right way, and singled out Jason Witten as the archetypal RKG. But this hasty definition gives us some useful fodder. Who on the Cowboys roster might not love football? Shy away from hard work or his teammates? Who is content, and thus not driven to improve? Remember also that the fundamental building block for an RKG is that he has "to have the physical requirements to play this game. The measurables, the talent, the aptitude to play." So, in addition to these other characteristics, we should add: who is a limited athlete? a marginal talent? a guy who is unlikely to ever rise above the bottom of the roster?
With these criteria in mind, I give you a list of the potential WKGs on the Cowboys roster, broken down into various descriptive categories:
Don't let the door hit you in your penalty-ridden backside (underachieving veterans without upside):
It was a very bad year (players added to the team in the fateful offseason of 2008, when an array of knuckleheads were brought to the Ranch. Several of these--Pacman Jones; Tank Johnson--have already been purged from the roster. If these guys don't shape up, they'll soon follow):
Boneheads begone (veterans who, given their onfield behavior, don't seem always to have their heads in the game--and their games aren't good enough to excuse their boneheadedness):
Don't buy a house, kid (guys who have two years in the system and have yet to demonstrate that they "get it." They may get one more year, but that's it):
-Alex Barron is the anti-Witten. It's no wonder Dallas lost the 2010 season opener to the Redskins; when they lined up next to each other, it caused a rent in the space-time continuum, and I think several of Romo's passes were teleported into the future.
-As I promised in part II, several of the players brought to the team in 2008 find themselves here. I noted in that earlier post that this woeful collection was assembled after the best regular season in recent memory, 2007's NFC-best 13-3 campaign. When the Cowboys are frontrunners--and certainly when he thinks he has a Lombardi in his sights--Jerry Jones tends to make riskier decisions, and it's shocking how often this means bringing a WKG (or several) onto the roster.
-As Garrett noted in his post-draft presser, the Cowboys have many more RKGs than they do WKGs, so this list is both shorter and perhaps even more speculative than the one I developed in part II. If there is a historical moment in which Garrett will have carte blanche to remake the roster in his image, it's this one. Even when I play out scenarios in which he might be hamstrung by contract size or position depth, I wonder whether he wouldn't rather go shallow at a position than have a WKG on his team.
Time will tell. I'll be closely monitoring training camp reps--if there is a training camp--final cutdowns, and game day inactives to see how these guys--and others that the coaching staff might characterizes as WKGs--fare in 2011.