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Cowboys Roster: The kicker did(n’t) do it in late 2022

Prior to the 2022 , I begged and pleaded with the Cowboys to draft in the . The / from the University of Texas was still on the board and I remain convinced he's the second coming of Justin Tucker.

Plus, he was the Longhorns' punter, meaning he could free up a roster spot.

Instead, Dallas used their final pick of the draft on , a out of . Who, you ask? Exactly.

Meanwhile, Dicker went undrafted, playing one game for the Eagles before landing with the .

He went 21-22 on field goals for the year and nailed all 24 off his extra points. On his 55 kickoffs, 46 of them went for touchbacks — that's 83.6% if you were wondering.

Dallas went with instead in 2022.

They were rewarded with 29-of-32 on field goals and 50-for-53 on extra points. On kickoffs, 78 of his 100 kicks went for touchbacks (78%).

Cowboys moving on from Brett Maher after rough postseason 2

Then came the postseason.

Four straight missed extra points in one game, and a fifth blocked in the next game and that one was shanked left too.

Was I the only person who watched 's reaction to the misses at Tampa Bay and immediately flashed back to 2003 and Manning's “Idiot Kicker” remark about Colts' placekicker Mike Vanderjagt?

Frankly, I was surprised to see Maher make the flight to San Francisco after the Tampa Bay debacle. Had been the team that night, Maher might have had to fly back to Dallas on a commercial flight.

To no one's surprise, the Cowboys announced they are moving on from Maher in 2023.

Had they listened to me — and yes, I was tweeting, e-mailing, and doing everything I could short of flying a banner over — they wouldn't be looking for a kicker this year.

The good news is that their punter, , is signed for this year and next. So they only need to find someone who can put the ball between the uprights on a regular basis.


When it comes to returning kicks and punts, the Cowboys seem to be in good shape.

has some room for improvement going forward. He has the ability to turn any kick into six points in a hurry as he showed in the — although he failed to find the endzone in the 2022 regular season.

The history of KaVontae Turpin
INGLEWOOD, CA – AUGUST 20: KaVontae Turpin #2 of the returns a kick off for a 100 yard touchdown against Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Dallas didn't allow a touchdown on either, so it seems the kickoff and punt units overall are well-positioned for 2023.

This just leaves one and only one problem for special teams coach to resolve.

The Solution

The Cowboys have already taken the first step by parting ways with Maher.

After his performance in Tampa, there was no way Dallas could trust him. I'm not sure if he'll land on another NFL team after his last two games.

The problem is the Dickers and Tuckers of the NFL don't grow on trees.

I don't see a kicker coming out of college worth using a draft pick on this year. But the free-agent crop is interesting.

Cameron Dicker
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 13: Cameron Dicker #17 of the kicks a field goal in the first half against the at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

might be interested in bringing in , given their relationship in Green Bay.

would also be an option if the Cowboys are going to address this need in . He hit 93.3% of his field goals and 97% of his extra points for the Rams last year. That's the kind of stability Dallas needs at the kicker spot.

But I would go and undo the Cowboys' mistake of last year if the choice were up to me.

Dicker is an exclusive rights . If the Chargers don't extend Dicker a contract tender then Dallas needs to sign him.

Trust me, if Dicker becomes available I will be on the next flight to Dallas. I will bang on the doors at The Star until they listen to me this time. Just putting that out there in case I make the news for all the wrong reasons later this year.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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