Two games. That's all L.P. Ladouceur needed to make history with the most recognizable professional sports team in the world. Ladouceur played 253 games with the Dallas Cowboys over a 16-year career as the team's long snapper. The franchise record is 255, held by Jason Witten.
The tight end's record will stand for what is likely to be at least another decade, as the signing of long snapper Jake McQuaide signals that the team will be parting ways with Ladouceur.
Signed as an undrafted free agent four games into the 2005 season, Ladouceur, 40, was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but his career was largely defined by his intertwined qualities of steadiness and longevity. You could look for a poorly executed snap in Ladouceur's career, but it would take you a long time to actually find one. In fact, the only blemish on his record occurred in a 2018 game in Washington in which the officials called him for a rare snap infraction before a 43-yard field goal attempt to tie the game. The five-yard penalty moved the ball back five yards and the ensuing kick was missed.
When it comes to mistakes, that's about it for Ladouceur, whose career began with the Cowboys in a unique way. The team played the 49ers and Raiders in consecutive road games early in the 2005 season, prompting the Cowboys to spend the entire week in the Bay Area. When the Cowboys had issues with their rookie snapper – Jon Condo – in the 49ers game, he was released, forcing the team to look for an emergency snapper. Had they been in Dallas, the Cowboys might've widened their search, but being remote, the Cowboys looked for local prospects. Ladouceur had recently spent training camp with the Saints but was released and returned the Bay Area, where he had played at Cal.
The Cowboys quickly brought Ladouceur in for a tryout at San Jose State, where they were practicing during the week, and needless to say, it went well enough for him to sign, play in the next game against Oakland, and then the next 252 games as well.
Despite falling short of Witten's record, Ladouceur's 253 games were played consecutively, which is by far a franchise record and a fairly astonishing statistic in the NFL. He has played more games in the NFL than any other Canadian-born player. He played under Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, and Mike McCarthy. In his departure there will be no players left on the Cowboys' roster who suited up in Texas Stadium in Irving.