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. 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 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.
Here's who the front page writers have as their pet cats:
rabblerousr: Jason Wilson, CB, Central Michigan
I'm going to go on a limb and take Jason Wilson. One of the Cowboys clear offseason goals was to get more length in the defensive backfield. They added 6'1" Corey White after he was waived by the Saints, and added 6'1" Byron Jones as well. Wilson, at 6'0", fits the mold, and was one of the stars of the rookie minicamp. I'm looking for him to battle 5'10" Tyler Patmon for the final spot on the CB depth chart. Given the team's interest in adding length, I like Wilson's chances...
OCC: Mark Nzeocha, LB, Wyoming
This time, my pet cat found me without much ado. Nzeocha is a fellow German, so this was a natural fit for me. Despite already being 25 years old, he is one of the best athletes in this draft class. His best chance of making the team is likely as a special teams player. His athleticism and sideline-to-sideline ability, coupled with a little NFL seasoning could potentially make him a superb scheme fit as a run-and-hit, three-down linebacker - but let's focus on becoming best friends with special teams coach Rich Bisacchia first.
Dawn Macelli: Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor.
You'd think the Midland Texas native would have have received more interest duroing the draft after finishing with more than 2,100 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons. But after catching 71 passes for 1,339 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, Goodley finished with 60 catches for 830 yards and six touchdowns last season, which may be why the Cowboys were able to pick him up.
In Dallas, Goodley joins former Baylor teammate Terrance Williams, and could offer the team an options as a returner. In his freshman and sophomore years at Baylor, the speedy Goodley (4.44 forty) returned kicks and ended his college career with 45 returns for 1,037 yards.
Gary Morris: Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois
Bishop, a 2014 seventh-round draft pick, was on the active roster for three of the first four games last season before being moved to the practice squad. He was called up to the active roster for the playoff game against the Packers. While on the practice squad, Bishop stood out for his relentless motor and word was that the starters "hated to block him." Bishop has his work cut out for him to secure a roster spot at defensive tackle this year, a job that may have gotten a little easier with Josh Brent's recent retirement.
Michael Sisemore: Damian Wilson, LB, Minnesota
Wilson plays with impeccable instincts and good speed. He's got great smarts for the game and can diagnose plays with the best of them. Like many players worthy of Marinelli's genius, Wilson plays with a chip and has a relentless effort. Wilson is durable and rarely comes off the field, for a team that can use some depth and competition at linebacker, Wilson is a great addition. He's tough both mentally and physically and is an above-average tackler in this draft. He's a finisher, something you can never have enough of.
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 some of the BTB writers have picked as their pet cats (note that I took Tom Ryle off the distribution list of the mail to my fellow writers asking for their picks), check out the up-to-the-minute Cowboys roster below and tell us:
Who is your pet cat to make the roster this year?
|2015 Free Agents
||Returning Players from 2014
|1||Agnew, Ray||FB||45||Bailey, Dan||K|
|2||Brinkley, Jasper||LB||46||Beasley, Cole||WR|
|3||Collins, Jed||FB||47||Bernadeau, Mackenzy||G|
|4||Gachkar, Andrew||LB||48||Bishop, Ken||DT|
|5||Hardy, Greg||DE||49||Boatright, Kenneth||DE|
|6||Hornsey, Tom||P||50||Crawford, Jack||DE|
|7||Kreiter, Casey||LS||51||Patmon, Tyler||CB|
|8||McFadden, Darren||RB||52||Bryant, Dez||WR|
|9||Obada, Efe||DE||53||Carr, Brandon||CB|
|10||Rivers, Keith||LB||54||Church, Barry||S|
|11||White, Corey||CB||55||Claiborne, Morris||CB|
|12||Boyd, Chris||WR||57||Crawford, Tyrone||DE|
|13||Dill, R.J.||OT||58||Dunbar, Lance||RB|
|14||Dunn, Reggie||WR||59||Escobar, Gavin||TE|
|15||Edwards, Lavar||DE||60||Frederick, Travis||C|
|16||Johnson, Keelan||S||61||Free, Doug||T|
|17||Miller, Ryan||OT||62||Gardner, Ben||DE|
|19||Steeples, Robert||CB||64||Hayden, Nick||DT|
|20||Wetzel, John||T||65||Heath, Jeff||S|
|21||Williams, Ryan||RB||66||Hitchens, Anthony||OLB|
|2015 Draft Picks
|22||Gibson, Laurence||OT||68||Ladouceur, L.P.||LS|
|23||Green, Chaz||OT||69||Lawrence, Cameron||OLB|
|24||Gregory, Randy||DE||70||Lawrence, Demarcus||DE|
|25||Jones, Byron||DB||71||Leary, Ronald||G|
|26||Nzeocha, Mark||LB||72||Lee, Sean||LB|
|27||Russell, Ryan||DE||73||Martin, Zack||OT|
|28||Swaim, Geoff||TE||74||McClain, Terrell||DT|
|29||Wilson, Damien||LB||75||Mincey, Jeremy||DE|
|Undrafted Free Agents
|30||Collins, La'el||OL||77||Romo, Tony||QB|
|31||Farmer, George||WR||78||Scandrick, Orlando||CB|
|33||Greenberry, Deontay||WR||80||Smith, Tyron||T|
|34||Days, Synjyn||RB||81||McClain, Rolando||LB|
|35||Scott, Tim||S||82||Street, Devin||WR|
|36||Hamilton, Ray||TE||83||Vaughan, Dustin||QB|
|37||Harwell, Nick||WR||84||Weeden, Brandon||QB|
|38||McDermott, Shane||C||85||Weems, Darrion||T|
|40||Ross, Joel||CB||87||Wilber, Kyle||DE|
|41||Showers, Jameill||QB||88||Wilcox, J.J.||S|
|42||Vinopal, Ray||S||89||Williams, Terrance||WR|
|43||Whitehead, Lucky||WR||90||Witten, Jason||TE|
|Most recent additions
|Donnie Baggs||LB||Danny McCray||S|