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Football

A Very Unserious Suggestion For the Cowboys to Bring Back L.P. Ladouceur

If they’re signing guys who used to work here, they may as well take in one more and let him set a franchise record.
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Behold, the only licensed photo we have available of L.P. Ladouceur in 16 years in Dallas. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We got some spicy-ish Cowboys news this week—think “Kroger-brand medium salsa” levels of spice—by way of Dallas bringing in ex-Cowboys La’el Collins and Damien Wilson to help weather injuries across the offensive line and linebacking corps.

Collins is the name here, as much for his 71 starts in Dallas as the conduct headaches that precipitated his release in the 2021 offseason after six years on the team. Wilson did more yeoman’s work during his four seasons in town and comes with a much more troubling off-the-field history, too. In both cases, the scouting report of what Collins and Wilson might add to the roster is less entertaining than the extremely Cowboys move to reexamine old failures in hopes of stumbling onto new solutions, a semi-regular strategy that most recently led them to the disaster that was Brett Maher, Mach III.

There is a very Let’s Remember Some Guys element to the whole thing, which naturally led to riffing on who else should come back once the news broke on Tuesday that Collins and Wilson were working out. This in turn begat me, a professional sports degenerate for this here magazine, considering who would be the most enjoyable person to give another go around, which is how I’ve arrived at the following conclusion: Jerry Jones should bring back French-Canadian long snapper L.P. Ladouceur.  

Lest we get off on the wrong foot, Ladouceur was very good at his job—so good, in fact, that he did it for 16 years and a team-record 253 consecutive games. That you may well not know his name, and that you have never seen a highlight of his work, is testament to that. Long snappers are paid to do one job mistake-free, and as friend of the program Jonny Auping pointed out upon Ladouceur’s release in 2021, about the only one he ever committed was a pre-snap infraction that cost Dallas five yards on a field goal attempt back in 2018.

But this isn’t really about merit—it’s not like we’ve heard many peeps about Jake McQuaide or Trent Sieg, Ladouceur’s successors, after all. This isn’t because I harbor a soft spot for long snappers, either. No, this is about history with a capital H, people. Because, as Auping noted back in 2021, Ladouceur departed just two games shy of matching Jason Witten for the most played in franchise history, and if we’re doing Callback Night at the Apollo, there may as well be some stakes involved.

It just so happens, too, that Dallas has a minimum of two games left to play this NFL season between Sunday’s regular-season finale and at least one playoff game. You can see where I’m going with this.

And, yeah, sure, fine, maybe that leads to disaster. I’m not claiming this is wise, per se—Ladouceur is 42 years old, hasn’t snapped in a game since 2020, and Dallas has a division and then a Super bowl to win. There isn’t much in the way of things like “upside” or “incentive” to make this happen. Poor Sieg would be collateral damage, and who’s to say Ladouceur, being the polite Canadian he is—all Canadians are polite, it’s a law—would be party to snapper-on-snapper crime.

But I don’t know, man, let’s roll the dice, in the name of doing big things. The Cowboys are doing more for lesser lights, after all. And if it goes badly, then maybe they’ll find some new numbers to call when they’ve got jobs to fill.

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Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…
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