Cowboys Move on From Veteran Starter, Immediately Sign Replacement: Report

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

Getty Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

So much for Dallas Cowboys history.

Although it appeared the team would re-sign unrestricted free agent long snapper L.P. Ladouceur, the Cowboys on Monday opted to move in a different direction, ending Ladouceur’s incredible 16-year stint in silver and blue.

Dallas immediately wrangled his replacement, inking former Los Angeles Rams LS Jake McQuaide to a one-year contract, according to media reports. The deal is agreed to in principle but will not become official until 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

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Era Over

The final link of the Bill Parcells era, Ladouceur arrived in 2005 and ending up making 253 career appearances for the Cowboys, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2014. He hasn’t missed a game since his rookie campaign.

Ladouceur owns several franchise records, including most consecutive games played and most seasons played. The Montreal native also holds NFL records for most consecutive games played by a long snapper and most games played by a Canadian-born player. He was just three games shy of breaking future Hall-of-Fame tight end Jason Witten’s team appearances record (256) and on Saturday became the first Cowboys player under contract at age-40 since 2008 (Brad Johnson).

The Cowboys’ kicking and punting units, from a snap-operation standpoint, annually flourished under Ladouceur‘s handling. In 2020, kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed 34-of-41 field goal attempts and 33-of-36 extra points, while punter Chris Jones averaged 42.6 yards-per-boot on 24 tries.

“Ladouceur, 40, did not have a poor snap in his entire career,” ESPN’s Todd Archer noted.

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Background on McQuaide

The 33-year-old is very similar to Ladouceur in that he was ultra-reliable for the Rams, serving as their deep snapper in every game since 2011, when the Ohio State product was snagged as an undrafted free agent.

McQuaide earned consecutive Pro Bowl nods in 2017 and 2018, the unheralded member of a dynamic special teams operation, led by coordinator John Fassel, that featured fellow all-star Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker.

“We knew Johnny had a good chance, but with Jake it was fireworks went off,” Fassel said in 2017. “Just a guy who’s totally under the radar for the right reasons – you don’t want to know about the long snapper – and he gets the nod.

“He works so hard, he’s so tough and he doesn’t want to be recognized for anything –  and then to actually get it? Really cool.”

McQuaide, of course, now will reunite with Fassel and Zuerlein as the Cowboys look to improve upon a unit that finished 11th overall in Rick Gosselin’s 2020 special teams rankings.

McQuaide was the first out-of-house player added by Dallas following Monday’s opening of the legal tampering window. In related news, the club tendered defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson and signed UFA WR Noah Brown to a one-year deal.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL


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