The second-longest tenured player for the Dallas Cowboys, behind tight end Jason Witten, is long snapper L.P. Ladouceur. Since 2005, he has handled his duty with true perfection. That’s why he’s still here, but his contract is expiring and a return is yet to be finalized.
The five-year deal that Ladouceur signed in 2013 has run out. His cap hit the last three season has been $1.2 million; a fair price for a long snapper who never makes an error. It’s a price the Cowboys should be happy to pay again if Ladouceur wishes to extend his career.
But with L.P. turning 37 in March, one must wonder how much longer he wants to keep playing. His job doesn’t have nearly the same wear and tear as other NFL positions, but it does have most of the same requirements of time spent away from family.
Ladouceur has a daughter who just turned five in December.
Bringing back Ladouceur back in 2018 may be more critical than ever for the Cowboys after the struggles of kicker Dan Bailey last season.
Bailey was a career-worst 75% on field goals last year. This was most likely due to a lower leg injury that took him out of some games and he tried to play through in others, but it still may have had an adverse effect on Dan’s confidence.
If the Cowboys are worried about Bailey getting back to his usual self, they may be looking to keep everything around him and stable as possible. Trying out new long snappers this offseason would be a counterproductive.
Dallas has yet to replace Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who left the team last month to go join Jon Gruden in Oakland. Perhaps the new coach could have an impact on their decision with Ladouceur, depending on who else the coach might have connections with in the league.
Still, it’s hard to replace perfection. L.P. Ladouceur has never been credited with a bad snap since entering the NFL in 2005.
Given that, the Cowboys have no reason to look elsewhere. As long as L.P. keeps wanting to play and keeps operating at maximum efficiency, the team should look to extend the relationship as long as possible.