The Cowboys' new offensive line coach ties evaluation to how players pour ketchup

The man that now coaches one of the best offensive lines in football is clearly a man that knows what he wants. In his book from 2011, "Perform," new Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander said that he can tell if he'll want a player based on how they pour ketchup.

If this were coming from anyone else it would be easy to scoff at. In the coming season, with some of the best linemen in the league at his disposal, Alexander can put his money where his mouth is.

Football coaches are pretty well-known for making hilariously reductive statements. Player is too short, he asked a weird question, he had this weird quirk and I didn't like it, etc. Butch Davis once said "this man will lead us to a Super Bowl" about Tim Couch. But Alexander's quotes about evaluating offensive linemen are some of the most bizarre.

Alexander, who coached the Bengals' offensive line for 23 years, even leads into his method with a diatribe about ketchup itself.

When I see a large football player turn a bottle of ketchup upside down and pound at its heel with tremendous force yet with limited success, I immediately make a mental note:

He must either play defensive line, or if he plays offensive line, he can't play for me.

Alexander's reasoning is simple: "Offensive linemen and their coaches seek to resolve complex problems with simple solutions." Whether getting ketchup out of a bottle is a complex problem is a debate for another day.

This kind of quote is heavily results-based in terms of reception, mind you. If people had read this book when it was released and Alexander was with the Bengals, he likely would have been laughed at for using such an arbitrary method to disqualify players. However, with the Cowboys, Alexander might get the benefit of the doubt if Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin play up to their potential. Hopefully they all poured their ketchup "the right way."

Alexander's condiment-based method of evaluating players has merit. Personally, I wouldn't let any player on my team that preferred regular mustard over honey mustard, for example.

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