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2014 Dallas Cowboys Roster: Judgment Day For Pet Cats

Pet cats have been a part of BTB ever since Bill Parcells originally introduced the term in Dallas. So how good were the pet cat picks this year?

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after the draft, in what has become an annual tradition here on Blogging The Boys, we ask the front page writers and BTB members to commit to their pet cats for the season.

The "Pet Cat" is a Parcells-ism, a term Bill Parcells popularized in Cowboysland when he was the 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, the term usually refers to 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 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.

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 Pet Cat Judgment Day.

We'll start off with a look at which pet cats the BTB writers picked this year, and how that worked out for the pet cats involved. This year we picked two pet cats, most from the ranks of the undrafted free agents, but also some drafted players. We picked our players in a two-round pet cat draft, which is why everybody ended up with two different players:

Writer 2014
1st pick
2nd pick
Dave Halprin Ken Bishop Keith Smith
Cody Mandell Ben Gardner
rabblerousr J.C. Copeland Jordan Najvar
Joey Ickes Davon Coleman Ben Malena
Dawn Macelli Andre Cureton Joe Windsor
Tom Ryle Permanently disqualified
KD Drummond L'Damian Washington Terrance Mitchell

That's a pretty low hit rate by us front-pagers. Dave hit on both picks, Bishop and Keith Smith, Joey got the Coleman pick right, and I picked a guy who at least ended up on IR, which is a small victory given how much we missed with our picks overall.

When we published our pet cats in mid May, many BTB readers submitted their pet cats in the comments thread. I quick scan of the comments shows the following players as favorites among the BTB commenters on that post:

Votes Players
15 Ben Gardner
12 L'Damian Washington
12 J.C. Copeland
11 Matt Johnson
8 Ken Bishop
5 Terrance Mitchell
4 Devin Street
4 Ahmad Dixon
3 Dustin Vaughan
3 Jarrod Pughsley
2 Ben Bass, Chris Boyd, Brian Clarke, Davon Coleman, Anthony Hitchens, Cody Mandell, Dashaun Phillips, Will Smith
1 Dartwan Bush, Casey Kreiter, Glasco Martin, Marvin Robinson, Chris Whaley, Evan Wilson, Martez Wilson

I tallied a total of 101 votes for 25 different players. 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 corner Tyler Patmon, who translated an invitation as a walk-on to rookie minicamp with a spot on the 53-man roster. Davon Coleman and Dustin Vaughan join Patmon as the only undrafted free agents to make the roster.

Not a single BTB member picked Patmon, which is why nobody gets the coveted Pet Cat Trophy in gold this year. But the silver Pat Cat Trophy goes to BTB members itsaboat and jimmy.marshall2 for picking Davon Coleman as one of their two pet cats.

Tell us about your pet cat. Who did you pick at the time?

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