The least-heralded player on the Dallas Cowboys‘ roster is on the precipice of rewriting one of the most prestigious team records in its illustrious history.
As noted by beat reporter Michael Gehlken, Cowboys long snapper L.P. Ladouceur is three games away from breaking future Hall-of-Fame tight end Jason Witten’s franchise highwater mark of 256 games played in silver and blue.
What’s more, Ladouceur on Saturday — his birthday — became the first Cowboys player under contract at age-40 since 2008 (Brad Johnson), according to Gehlken. That could change Wednesday when the eight-year veteran is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Ladouceur “plans to continue [his] career in 2021,” though it remains unclear if Dallas will move in another direction at the position. He earned a modest $1.05 million base salary last season, counting just $887,500 (0.4%) against the club’s salary cap.
The Cowboys are projected to enter the NFL’s signing period with $18.812 million in available cap space.
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A Montreal native, Ladouceur arrived in Dallas following a 2004 stint in the Canadian Football League and a brief 2005 tenure with the New Orleans Saints, who signed the California product as an undrafted free agent. The last link of the Bill Parcells era, Ladouceur has made 253 career appearances for the Cowboys, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2014, and hasn’t missed a game since his rookie campaign, incredibly.
He already owns several franchise records, including most consecutive games played and most seasons played. He also holds NFL records for most consecutive games played by a long snapper and most games played by a Canadian-born player.
“LP is fantastic,” former Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said in 2019. “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 years has made a big difference for our team.”
The Cowboys’ kicking and punting units, from a snap-operation standpoint, have annually flourished under Ladouceur‘s watch. 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.
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Cowboys Projected to Sign 2x Super Bowl Champion
With 48 hours to go until the opening of the legal tampering window, which precedes Wednesday’s official start of free agency, Bleacher Report considers the Cowboys a “realistic landing spot” for cornerback Malcolm Butler, who’s free to sign immediately following his March 10 release from the Tennessee Titans.
Butler is a marquee name amid a star-studded CB class that includes Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, as well as incumbent Cowboys starters Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie and key backup/special teams ace C.J. Goodwin.
The Dallas Morning News previously reported that Awuzie, the team’s 2017 second-round pick, is unlikely to score a second contract from the Cowboys and expected to depart on the unrestricted market.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL