The Dallas Cowboys will face decision time in the kicking department once cut-down day arrives. Last season, Kicker Brett Maher did a decent job as the team's starter. Maher actually wrote his name on the franchise's record book by kicking the longest field goal in Cowboys history. A 62-yard bomb. He made 29-of-36 field goals (80.6%) throughout the season.
Despite not doing a bad job replacing Dan Bailey, Maher was far from great. In attempts from 30-49 yards, Maher only made 13 out of 19 (68.4%). He definitely wasn't convincing enough to overlook the need for a kicker headed into the 2019 season.
A competition was to be expected and that's exactly what Punter Kasey Redfern is bringing to the table in Oxnard, California, where the Cowboys hold their annual training camps.
Redfern has been in the league since 2014, being a journeyman who arrived to Dallas to his sixth team in his career. He hasn't seen any real regular season action yet. But he's already competing with the Cowboys' starters.
Kasey Redfern kicked field goals today, rather than Brett Maher. He went 5-of-6, which was the same mark as Maher yesterday. #cowboyswire
Keep in mind, Redfern is actually a punter. He's not only competing with Maher, but with Punter Chris Jones. His versatility will surely earn him a lot of points with a coaching staff that loves position flex so much. It's worth mentioning that Redfern has been turning heads all offseason long. It's not just about a “good practice.” Maybe the Cowboys really have something in Redfern.
Player of the day, for me, was backup specialist Kasey Redfern — who I didn’t even know kicked field goals until today.
The 1st & 2nd offenses both had to settle for field goals in 2-minute drill. Redfern nailed them both, hitting from 37 for the starters & 53 for the backups.
To make the team, Redfern can beat two guys. Given his ability to both kick and punt he's trying to one-up Brett Maher and/or Chris Jones.
If he doesn't outperform Maher, he can still manage to make the roster. If he punts just as well as Chris Jones (or even slightly less), he could get the job just because of the fact that he can function as a backup kicker as well. Many punters around the NFL are capable of kicking field goals, but Jones hasn't really shown us that he can.
Having said that, don't think that position flex will be enough for him to take Jones' job. Redfern needs to prove he can be a consistent quality punter if he wants a spot on the 53-man roster.
Despite being on many teams in so little time, Redfern's trajectory might have looked fairly different if it wasn't for an ugly injury suffered in 2017.
“It wasn't until he landed with the Detroit Lions that it looked like his career was finally starting to take off. He was named the starter after Sam Martin sustained an injury that would sideline him for several weeks, but unfortunately Redfern had a run of bad luck himself. He sustained a serious knee injury in the season opener, tearing his ACL, MCL, and a partially torn patellar tendon.” – Brian Martin on Cowboys' Kasey Redfern.
We're less than a week into training camp and things might look very different before the regular season kicks off. With players like Matt Bryant available in free agency, we could even see new competition being added before training camp ends. In the meantime, it's great to hear there's legitimate competition at a position which could use some improvement for the Cowboys.