The Dallas Cowboys opened minicamp on Tuesday and it didn’t take long for head coach Jason Garrett to run into a question that had him stumbling over his words — uncharacteristic for the usually very measured head coach.
In the morning press conference, Garrett was asked about long snapper L.P. Ladouceur by a French-speaking member of the media.
“Could you just say his name one more time?,” Garrett quipped with the questioner. “I took about nine years of French and I just stop at L.P.”
When asked if Ladouceur had taught him any French words, Garrett tried to show off his skills with the word “fenetre” or window. The Cowboys’ skipper mispronounced it in a major way, drawing a huge laugh from the media on hand.
“That’s what I get, right,” Garrett told reporters. “I do it phonetically and they look at me like … story of my life. I’ll tell you about a great story about taking French 102 in college. It was the most eye-opening experience of my life. We’ll do it over a lemonade. I’m still scarred from the experience.”
But Garret then shifted back to a more serious line on Ladouceur, who is returning to Dallas for his 15th year in a Cowboys’ uniform.
“LP is fantastic,” Garrett said. “If you think about a player on your team who does what they do at a high level, I could make an argument that he’s as good of player that we have on our team. It’s a very important job and his ability to be so consistent and so accurate, so dependable for all these year has made a big difference for our team.”
The Cowboys inked Ladouceur — who was born in Montreal — to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money this offseason, according to Todd Archer of ESPN. His 15-year tenure in Dallas ties him with Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Mark Tuinei and Bill Bates for the second-longest service in franchise history.
Long snapper is one of the most unheralded positions in football, but massively important for any good team. Ladouceur has been among the best in the league, even making the Pro Bowl in 2014. According to Cowboys Wire, he has made clean snaps on 940 punts, 428 field goals and 592 PATs, including the playoffs.
Garrett also cited Ladouceur’s leadership as being a major
“That’s the guy — the whole process starts with him,” Garrett said. “He’s a true pro. An unbelievable example for everybody on this football team.”