Dallas Cowboys: Introducing the 2018 Pet Cats

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Offensive lineman Kwayde Miller #75 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates with tight end David Wells #88 of the San Diego State Aztecs after his touchdown in the first quarter against the Colorado State Rams at Qualcomm Stadium on November 26, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Offensive lineman Kwayde Miller #75 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates with tight end David Wells #88 of the San Diego State Aztecs after his touchdown in the first quarter against the Colorado State Rams at Qualcomm Stadium on November 26, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

Every year a few players stand out during OTAs and training camps, earning the title of “pet cats”. Here are some potential 2018 Dallas Cowboys pet cats.

Several years ago, Bill Parcells coined the term “pet cat”. A pet cat is lesser-regarded player (low draft pick or undrafted altogether) who somehow endears himself to coaches, fans media, etc… We see these fan-favorites every year – guys like Tony Romo, Xavier Woods, and Damien Wilson were former “pet cats” who have become impact players.

Today, let’s look at who has the potential in 2018.

But before we begin, let’s make it clear that usually a “pet cat” is not a player picked in the first four rounds. It can be, but it is usually not. In this case we will look from the fifth round on.

Bo Scarbrough

Before the draft there were many who had a fourth round grade on Bo Scarbrough, instead, he ended up going to the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round. He could easily be considered a “pet cat” as the Cowboys need depth at running back, and Scarbrough has enough talent to add to the offense quickly.

Scarbrough has had some injury concerns, and is not really seen as a receiving threat, but in short yardage situations, his power is something the Cowboys could lean on. Bo has a straight up running style, but has the power to get the hard yardage. This would save Ezekiel Elliott absorbing some abuse on the goal line or other short yardage situations.

Bo will need to work on his receiving skills if he wants to be the guy behind Elliott, but adding him with Rod Smith makes the backup depth at running back pretty strong looking overall. He fits well in Dallas with the offensive line that is in place and could impress early.

David Wells

With Jason Witten retiring, a lot of fans will be looking to Rico Gathers (a former pet cat), Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, and draft pick Dalton Schultz. However, Wells could find himself sneaking up on a lot of people. Worst case he will probably find himself on the practice squad for a year.

Wells is a really smart player to put it mildly. He was a quarterback who converted to tight end and reads defenses really well. He knows where to get to in coverage and how to put himself in the right spot for his quarterback.

Wells, however, is still raw and will need to work on his blocking. Almost every knock on him coming out of college was as a blocker. But as a weapon for a quarterback he has a great ability to impress people.

Kameron Kelly

I would argue that right now many fans have Kam Kelly as their “pet cat” already. With a need at free safety, many are looking at either Kelly or Tyree Robinson to make a name for themselves. While I think the next guy on this list could make the impact, there is no denying Kelly has playmaking ability.

Kelly was a receiver who converted to safety and knows how to play the ball in the air very well. As a roaming type safety he should make some plays early on that will impress many. As long as he isn’t asked to play man coverage early on, he should be fine.

Kelly will have to work on his man coverage if he wants to be an every play safety. He will also need to work on taking better angles to the ball and playing strong against the run, but roaming in centerfield Kelly could find a sub-package spot.

Kyle Queiro

As above, the Cowboys need some depth at free safety. If you read my article last week (here), I went into who could be the possible fourth safety, and Queiro was at the top of my list. He has the body style and playing style that Kris Richard likes.

Quiero like Kelly will need to work on playing man to man, but his playmaking ability is undeniable if you watched him at Northwestern. He has the skillset to play as a free safety, but has the ability to play strong safety as well.

Kyle won’t wow you with his speed, but he always seems to be in the play. As long as the Cowboys use him in a sub-package with everything in front of him, he will impress some people. He should be able to make an impact and with his ability to play special teams, he could stick around.

Jake Campos

When you see Jake Campos the first thing you notice his is size. Standing at 6’7” and weighing in at just over 300 pounds, Campos is a large man. Seeing how the Dallas Cowboys love to have depth at offensive line Campos could find a spot. With Campos and other undrafted free agent Bryce Johnson, the offensive line will look massive in preseason games.

Campos could have been a middle round pick a few years ago, but an injury in 2016 derailed this. Campos gave up one sack this whole season at Iowa St at left tackle and is quite good in run blocking. He sometimes loses focus and will get beat, but for now, as a backup, he should be fine.

Campos could be kept for depth pretty quickly if he looks as good in passing situations as he did in college. It is rare to have an offensive lineman as a “pet cat” but I think Campos will surprise some people with his blocking.

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Chavarious Ward

I don’t know whether to classify Ward as strictly a cornerback or if he will possibly play some safety as well. He has the skills to play both and is extremely physical, so he might get looks at both positions. USAToday recently said he was the most underrated cornerback in the entire draft.

Ward broke up a staggering fourteen passes this season and the only real question is if he can do it against better competition. He is one of the more physical corners and isn’t afraid to tackle and press any wide receivers. He will need to work on his footwork, but it looks quite fixable.

If Ward can look close to the way he looked in college, he will find a spot on the roster. His potential ceiling is quite high and if he can play both safety and corner, his stock will rise this offseason.

Wrap Up

These are just some of the “pet cats” who could emerge during the next few months. There are some other names like Chris Covington, Dalton Sturm, and DeQuinton Osborne who could also make a name for themselves as well. Everyone has their own “pet cats” and it is fun to follow them as they try to make a name for themselves.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Second year players on the rise

.We can start getting a picture of the players during OTAs, but it won’t be until training camp that the real standouts will appear. I am curious to see who some of the “pet cats” that come out for some of the analysts like Bryan Broaddus. Let me know below who you are following and who your “pet cats” are.