Why Ketchup Is Key To Cowboys' Evaluation of Offensive Linemen

By Henry McKenna

Who needs the Wonderlic, when the Dallas Cowboys have engineered an ingenious new test of intelligence? They can call it, The 57 Aptitude Test.

In Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander’s book “Perform,” he wrote that ketchup — specifically made by the brand, 57 — is a key ingredient to determining which players he will and will not draft.

Don’t get caught banging the bottom of a 57 ketchup bottle around Alexander. That’s a huge no-no. Instead, prospects must tap or squeeze (depending on if the bottle is glass or plastic) at precisely the right spot.

Let him explain:

Alexander’s message that offensive linemen have to be highly intelligent makes sense. Much like the quarterback diagnoses the entire defense, the offensive linemen have to work with him to diagnose the front-seven for the proper protections and blocking assignments. And the Cowboys offensive line is one of the league’s best.

But determining someone’s aptitude with ketchup? It sounds like a sketch that belongs on “Saturday Night Live.” This is one of those moments when the scouting process becomes a caricature of itself.

When it comes to offensive linemen, the Cowboys are doing something right — but The 57 Aptitude Test is not one of the things.