With all the buzz around the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff changes, it is a good time to touch on a player the team has decided not to move forward with.
Those close to Jerry Jones said Wednesday that the team would start over at kicker. Honestly, I was surprised they did not want to bring Brett Maher back even after a rough postseason.
The Cowboys had a training camp kicking contest between undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu that went so poorly that they signed Maher. I was not a fan at the time, but I was impressed throughout the year.
Maher finished the regular season making 29 of 32 field goals and 50 of 53 extra-point attempts in 17 games. Things quickly changed once the Cowboys entered the playoffs.
In the 31-14 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card Round, Maher missed four of five extra-point attempts, making him the first player in NFL history to miss three-plus extra points in a postseason game.
Do you know what is funny? This was not the first record he set this season.
Maher also holds the record for most 60-plus-yard field goals in a career. He is four-of-four from 60-plus; no other kicker has more than two.
Maher made both of his field goal attempts in the divisional-round loss to the 49ers, which may have saved his job for at least one more year; evidentially, it did not.
I thought he did enough outside of his struggle in the postseason to at least have a shot to kick for the team next year, but we all know how Jerry works.
So, here we are again.
For the second consecutive year, the Cowboys have yet to learn who their kicker will be during the 2023 season. A few veteran names are out there if the Cowboys choose to sign someone this off-season.
Many top kickers in the league should become available this off-season — names like Mason Crosby, Robbie Gould, Matt Prater, Greg Zuerlein, and Matt Gay.
The Cowboys cut Zuerlein after he missed six extra points and six field goals in 2021. They should not go after him again.
A name I would keep an eye on is Crosby. Mike McCarthy coached him in Green Bay, and if he becomes a free agent, look for Dallas to take a chance on him.
Crosby ranks No. 12 in NFL history in scoring. He has produced 1,877 points in his 16-year career and has ended the Cowboys' season plenty of times. It would be great to have him on our side winning the game for once.
Maher did enough to return as the Cowboys' kicker next season. Jerry thought otherwise. If Dallas finds itself in the same situation as last season, Maher might return for like the 50th time.
Kickers matter, and if I had to make my pick on who I'd want for the Cowboys next season, it would be either Crosby or Gould. I don't think I've ever seen these guys miss. At least not against the Cowboys, anyway.
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