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When NFL teams draft a player, bet that Rick Gosselin knows why

"People say, 'You hate the Cowboys,'" Gosselin says. "No. I like teams who draft well. And every draft is different. Some of the best people in the league, some of my best friends in football, have gotten D's and F's." And, he points out, he "regrades" each team in January after the season. The Cowboys' new grade was an A (thanks to the production of late-round pick Tyson Walter).

The fan vitriol doesn't dampen Gosselin's obvious love for his job. How could it? He's known that he wanted to be a sportswriter since the third grade. He grew up in Detroit and was an all-city hockey player, then went to Michigan State, so it's slightly odd that he didn't end up covering pucks. But in his 29 years covering football in New York, Kansas City and, since 1990, Dallas, Gosselin has amassed a network of sources that make his job not just easier, but rewarding. Fun, even. "On this beat," he says, smiling, "it's who you know. And I've been around so long, I know most of them by now."

Looking back, perhaps these sources should do more than just give Gosselin information. Perhaps they should request some as well.

Rick Gosselin is nicknamed "Goose" after baseball player Leon "Goose" Goslin, who won the 1928 batting title, beating Henry "Heinie" Manush on his final at-bat. It's true. Look it up.
Rick Gosselin is nicknamed "Goose" after baseball player Leon "Goose" Goslin, who won the 1928 batting title, beating Henry "Heinie" Manush on his final at-bat. It's true. Look it up.

"Bottom line," Hitzges says, "is that over the last 10 years, several NFL teams would have been better off if they had just fired their scouting departments and, on the day of the draft, gone up to Rick and said, 'Hey, could you give me a list of your top 250 players, in order?' and then just went down his list and took the highest-ranked guy available. I'm not kidding. He's that good."

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