Meet the man who created the Dallas Cowboys ‘watermelon’ onside kick

Mike McCarthy, John Fassel, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Mike McCarthy, John Fassel, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Of course, John Fassel was behind the Dallas Cowboys’ watermelon kick!

While he didn’t kick the greatest onside kick in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, and the worst in the history of the Atlanta Falcons, as that was Greg Zuerlein, Fassel was the one who came up with it. The longtime St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams special teams coordinator is in his first year on Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys staff. In his second game on the job, he’s already come up aces for them.

Will it be special teams that guides America’s Team to a division title?

The Cowboys should thank their lucky star that Dan Quinn’s Falcons are the best team in football when it comes to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The Architect of 28-3 yielded yet another boneheaded DQ Special by blowing a 20-point lead, including a 15-point lead with under eight minutes to go in the ball game. Dallas should be 0-2, but the Cowboys are not.

Though they are far from being the creme de la creme of the NFC, Dallas is still the favorite to win the NFC (L)East this season. Nobody likes the New York Giants, the Washington Football Team doesn’t even have a name and fake fans at Lincoln Financial Field have already booed Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles this season. So it better be the Cowboys who win the division.

On paper, the Cowboys should have a good offense. Their new triplets of quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper can hang with anybody’s in football. If Cooper continues to drop football like has done for years, Prescott can throw the ball to Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz and be just fine.

Though the defense leaves a lot to be desired, as the Cowboys gave up 39 points at home to the Falcons, maybe special teams will be an area where they can win big this year. Fassel is among the very best at what he does. The Rams were always outstanding at special teams during his eight years with them. Before that the then-Oakland Raiders were his team from 2008 to 2011.

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Usually when people talk about special teams, it typically carries a negative connotation. You’re more likely to lose games because of special teams than you are to win with them. However, Fassel’s unit has been the gold standard in football for the last decade-plus. His side of the ball executes at a high level and was a bragging point for when the Raiders and Rams were bad teams.

He may not like being called the Watermelon Man, Fassel must embrace his inner Herbie Hancock.