How important is intelligence in football?
Chris Mortensen just released the Wonderlic scores for a few notable prospects at the quarterback position:
Greg McElroy: 43
Blaine Gabbert: 42
Christian Ponder: 35
Ricky Stanzi: 30
Andy Dalton: 29
Ryan Mallett: 26
Cam Newton: 21
Jake Locker: 20
While we could debate the merits of the Wonderlic all day, there is really no debate that intelligence is very important in football (particularly at the quarterback position, obviously). Even more vital, I believe, is the ability to translate one’s intelligence onto the field. Dan Marino’s Wonderlic score of 15 and Ryan Leaf’s 27 show that poor standardized intelligence by no means precludes football intelligence, and vice versa.
The key for the Cowboys is to properly assess which players possess not only the requisite intelligence to succeed in the NFL, but also the motivation and work ethic to effectively implement their intelligence.