FRISCO - Any job with the Dallas Cowboys is a good job. I mean, yeah, everyone wants to be the quarterback, sure. But long-snapper? That’s the gig for Jacob McQuaide.
In fact it was his gig for a decade with the Los Angeles Rams. But joining the Dallas Cowboys, as he just did as a free agent? Well that’s a rare opening in this franchise’s history.
The Cowboys treat long snappers like royalty. They tend to have long reigns. If you do one thing, and you do it well, owner and general manager Jerry Jones will, it seems, reward you handsomely.
Or at least with longevity.
Dale Hellestrae played 11 years as the Cowboys’ long-snapper, from 1990 to 2000. That’s an eternity for a football player who does one thing. But, through eight place-kickers and seven punters, Hellestrae was the constant. When his career was finally done, only Bob Lilly had played more games than Hellestrae’s 176.
L.P. Ladouceur out-did Hellestrae. The Montreal native played college football at Cal, and after New Orleans waived him after training camp in 2005, he landed in Dallas. In fact, the Cowboys blundered into him. The Cowboys played the 49ers in San Francisco, and then had the Oakland Raiders the following week. The Cowboys decided to spent the week out West, but they were not happy with their long-snapper at the time.
Ladouceur was just hanging out in the Bay Area. One tryout later, Ladouceur had the gig of all gigs — and hung onto it for 15 years and 253 games, never failing to make a quality snap. He made a Pro Bowl and holds the NFL record for most games played by a long-snapper.
How valuable was this gig for Ladouceur? I mean he’s basically set for life. He was paid practically the minimum salary every year, and that minimum goes up every year. According to Spotrac.com, if he never plays another snap, Ladouceur will have made around $13 million.
It’s good work if you can get it. And McQuaide just got it.
Of course, McQuaide isn’t new to this. He was the Rams’ version of Hellestrae. He played for a decade for the Rams. Like the Cowboys with Hellestrae and Ladouceur, the Rams valued him and signed him to multi-year deals. He even made two Pro Bowls.
He’s in town because his old boss was John Fassel, who just happens to be the special-teams coach for the Dallas Cowboys. As Fassel continues to remake the special-teams unit in his own image, it’s not surprise that he would tap his own ultra-reliable option to anchor the Cowboys for years to come.
Welcome, Jacob. Here’s your scepter. In Dallas, you’re dang near royalty.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard