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'Vanilla Gorilla': 'I'll Break Your Neck!' Promises Colorful Cowboys Rookie

“I’m going to try,'' the 6-5, 320-pound fifth-round pick John Ridgeway says, "to break someone's neck when I get out there.''

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys felt they were "out-physical'ed'' in their playoff loss to the Niners and wanted to use this NFL Draft to avoid getting "big-boy'ed'' again.

One of the results? The "Vanilla Gorilla.''

“I’m going to try,'' the 6-5, 320-pound fifth-round pick John Ridgeway told The Draft Show, "to break someone's neck when I get out there.''


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Ridgeway, 23, played at the University of Arkansas, meaning school booster Jerry Jones knows him well.

“That really is not only a great pick, but he is also a hell of a competitor,'' the Cowboys owner said. "But it is also a philosophical thing that feels good now that we’ve got two of those big guys.”

The other "big guy'' on the inside of the Dallas D-line is a late-round rookie from a year ago, Quinton Bohanna. He's a 360-pounder, and if the plan works, they rotate in for the Cowboys as run-pluggers.

Or neck-breakers. Figuratively, of course.

"If I can’t (break necks), I’m just going to tackle someone really hard and try to make a big play, make the crowd go crazy,'' said Ridgeway, who, no dummy, has been marketing merchandise featuring his "Vanilla Gorilla'' nickname.

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So yes, the kid being marketing-minded fits right in with "America's Team'' - for better or worse. But this needs to be about football first. Seemingly, Ridgeway gets that.

“I know what I’m capable of,'' he said. "I know there’s a lot of people out there who like to talk about the negative aspects of my game, but I just try to focus on what I can control. That’s tackling people, you know? Making plays; that’s what I want to do. I’d rather that speak than me go out on the internet or Twitter and start talking crap.”

Still ... Ridgeway obviously isn't scared to talk. After a game earlier this year, he informed Jones that he should be drafted by Dallas so he could come here and "take over.'' (That full story is here.) And now?

“I don’t plan on getting in the backseat in the NFL,'' said the "Vanilla Gorilla.'' "I plan on getting in that driver’s seat and taking off.”

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