The Dallas Cowboys did a lot of work this offseason to try and upgrade positions and mitigate perceived liabilities. However, one area they didn’t seem too concerned about was the kicker position. After watching Brett Maher’s performance so far in 2019 though, which got especially ugly in yesterday’s loss to the Packers, it’s time for Dallas to look for a new kicker.
This isn’t meant to be an “I told you so” article, but I do need to stress that this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction. I was worried about riding with Maher in 2019 back in February, and I expressed more than once that Dallas should have brought in Matt Bryant or some other competition during the offseason.
I get why Maher intrigues them. His big leg creates scoring opportunities when most teams would have to punt it. Perhaps some analytics guy determined that those potential points were worth more than the risk of Brett’s misses from short range.
But yesterday we saw a miss from 54 and then another from 33. Brett also missed from 55 yards in Week 3 against the Dolphins. If Maher’s isn’t going to make up for the bad ones with that long-range acumen he showed last year, then what use is he?
Even Brett is making them it’s not with the down-the-middle consistency that we got so used to with Dan Bailey. He has a fade on his kicks that often has them going right, and you can only hope each time that it’s not enough to send the ball to the wrong side of the uprights.
To be fair, I’m not saying that Brett Maher is why the Cowboys lost yesterday. He certainly helped, but obviously there were turnovers and penalties that contributed far more to Dallas’ defeat.
That said, we also have hope for improvement in those areas. We’ve seen the Cowboys playing at a high level this year already, but Maher has been a liability going back to last season.
I can’t say that there’s some great solution out there in free agency. But once upon a time, Dan Bailey was an undrafted free agent who wound up being one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.
At this point, Dallas would be better off taking a gamble on a fresh face than continuing to roll the dice with Brett Maher. He simply isn’t good enough for the job.
Hopefully, the Cowboys figure that out before the kicker costs them a game.