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Meet Brett Maher, the Cowboys Kicker Replacing Dan Bailey for 2018

Sean Martin

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Meet Brett Maher, the Cowboys Kicker Replacing Dan Bailey for 2018

When Dez Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys, a calculated move that was processed on a Friday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have my former radio show "Upon Further Review" to share my immediate thoughts. I don't remember much of what I said, speaking from the heart about a player that meant so much to the organization, but I know for certain I prefaced everything by saying that Bryant's release was something that still needed processing.

Nick Eatman on Twitter

It's been a few hours and I'm still shocked by what happened with Dan Bailey. All we can do is speculate but it just never seemed like it was a true competition. Not sure what Bailey did to lose his job. #cowboyswire

In a stunning change of faith at the kicker position, the Cowboys release of Dan Bailey yesterday drew the same reaction from many - Cowboys fans or not. When Cowboys games came down to field goals, with just as many people rooting for America's Team to lose in spectacular fashion as well as triumph, it was so often Bailey's foot that delivered for Dallas.

By aggressively churning their roster, the Cowboys list of players they've let down with missed opportunities in the playoffs has grown, and it's unfortunate that the second most accurate kicker in NFL history must now be added to this list. Officially, Dan Bailey made ten go-ahead field goals in either the fourth quarter of a Cowboys win or in overtime.

His replacement, Brett Maher, has never kicked a field goal in a regular season game in the NFL, despite being on three teams. One of these teams was the Cowboys, as Maher was a member of the squad for the preseason in 2013.

At the time, he was the proverbial "warm body" to kick field goals while Bailey healed from an injury. Ask even the most loyal Nebraska Cornhusker fans (there are plenty of those), and they would have told you Maher was doing much of the same with the Cowboys this time around.

Bailey never will get his chance to fully recover and take back his job with the Cowboys though, as Maher became the team's biggest winner at cut down time on Saturday. For a club that constantly talks about competition and accountability, their move to replace Bailey lacks both, as no public kicking competition was known about in Dallas.

Billy Cundiff and Zane Gonzalez are two NFL kickers that Maher was unable to beat out in stops away from the Cowboys to earn a starting job. Cundiff is now retired, and Gonzalez is still the starter for the Cleveland Browns.

Maher's starts have all been in the CFL, appearing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maher scored all 18 points for the expansion Redblacks in their first ever win back in 2014, hitting from 23 yards out to win the game.

RedBlacks Brett Maher Winning Field Goal

June 18, 2014.

It took Dan Bailey until the end of 2016 (his sixth year kicking for the Cowboys) to miss as many field goals as Maher did in just two seasons at Nebraska, where he played before entering the NFL and CFL. Maher's 19 of 23 performance on field goals in 2011 earned him conference kicker of the year as a Junior.

He also punted for Nebraska for two seasons.

Maher was 4-5 on field goals this preseason for the Cowboys. His make from 57 yards out in Houston was the last low-pressure kick he'll hit in some time for the team. What seemed like a nice moment for the UDFA to gain some confidence resulted in Maher replacing a former undrafted success story in Bailey.

Welcome to the franchise that gets the most attention on a weekly basis, Mr. Maher. You're the starting kicker for the Dallas Cowboys now.

As mentioned, there's not a single part of this story that seems probable, or even believable at this point still. Reconciling the widespread feelings of disdain towards a Cowboys team that owed Bailey much better - by realizing that Maher is going through the same disbelief - certainly helps.

In one week's time, the Cowboys will be opening their season with a tough NFC match up at the Carolina Panthers. For the first time in years, the team's defense is less of a concern than the offense for this game. A key piece to their scoring ability ever since 2011, Dan Bailey's absence only adds to the uncertainty on this side of the ball, as Brett Maher will be the next man up kicking for the Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Meet Brett Maher, the Cowboys Kicker Replacing Dan Bailey for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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6 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    Is anybody really surprised here?, Bailey is the next to go out of the old Cowboys players their getting outta here( Romo, Witten, Dez, etc). They all have the same thing in common, down years and/or injuries make you replaceable to cheaper younger candidates. Maher’s 57 yarder was the icing on the cake, Dan bailey’s career long is 56. I hate how cowboys fans are surprised when these aging veterans are let go. Dez couldn’t get separation no more and y’all were surprised?? Bailey was missing extra points and all type of field goals last year and were surprised he got cut. I guess we’re gonna be surprised when Sean Lee and Tyrone Crawford gets cut next year like we didn’t know it was coming

  • Sexcdex Xfact

    My thing with cold calculated trades, cuts, etc by JJ since he bought the Dallas Cowboys Franchise is he’s not considerate enough of those who preceded him, helped him win 3 SB’s
    (the 3rd was with Jimmy J’s team)
    & all that followed is Jerry is one beck of ‘s oil-tycoon persona Owner /GM /etc
    And to all who havent quite gotten it yet
    Get ready for more
    But
    INCLUDING SB CHAMPIONSHIPS

    • Glenn Korbel

      A few chapters of “The Legend of Jimmy Johnson” that never made the book:

      Johnson drafted Steve Walsh in the 1989 supplemental draft because he was not completely sold on Aikman and the former had been his Q.B. at Miami when the Hurricane won a national championship. It was announced during the ’89 camp that it was an open competition.

      The price for drafting Walsh was forfeiting his 1st overall pick in the 1990 draft which would have been Junior Seau. However, the Cowboys were assigned the 17th pick which Johnson was hellbent on using on a trade with the Bengals who were at 12. Johnson was obsessed with linebacker James Francis but Cincinnati wouldn’t budge. Had they, Emmitt Smith would have become a packer.

      Then there was Jimmy’s utterly heartless and assinine move of running Hall of Fame receiver Jimmy Smith out of Dallas because he thought Smith was a melingerer. (He actually had appendecitis.)

      But Johnson’s greatest near-miss bonehead moved was prevented by Al Davis. Johnson, in 1989, wanted to trade Michael Irvin to the Raiders. Davis said, “I’d love to make the trade Jimmy but who will your quarterback throw the ball to? Apparently, Davis would not risk his friendship with Jones by entertaining
      Jimmy’s idiotic compulsion to deal.

      So, for those keeping score, had it not been for Al Davis and Paul Brown, the Bengal’s G.M. in 1990, the Cowboys would have traded Irvin and never had Emmitt. How many rings would “Jimmy’s team” have without them?

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        I fact check
        Never knew this
        But still doesn’t change my knowledge nor opinion of JJ
        However
        Being cold & calculating isn’t a stab or put down of Jerry

        Business much of the time has to be severed from emotion

        Belichek, Saban, Tom Landry, NBA, MLB, major Corps , the Entertainment Industry’s, etc all have to make hard, sometimes spur of the moment decisions that few understand, accept, or agree with

        So even without knowing the accuracy of your post, I will say maybe you took what I said incorrectly & rereading mine, I definitely could have elaborated more clearly

        But by no means did I indicate JJ was alone in bring the way he is
        That why I made the reference to his Oil Tycoon mentality / business savvy

        Parents seem cold & calculating
        A pastor can seem insensitive.
        Doctors & Attys & bankers etc
        We’re both speaking the same language Glenn

  • Glenn Korbel

    Am I correct in believing Dan Bailey never made a field goal in the regular season before his first regular-season game as an undrafted free agent.

    Now, many people may think everyone from Jerry Jones on down to the guy who turns out the lights at the stadium are incompetent morons. Moves like this, however, are not made unless SOMEBODY made a damn strong case or knew something fans don’t. Bailey wasn’t released because this guy made a 57-yard field goal.

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      Again Glenn
      I totally agree with you & again my use if the FO brass being,
      ” cold & calculated “, is much more of praise than insult
      &
      Like the greatest coaches, agree it’s better to cut a good or even great player 2 yrs too soon than 1 yr too late
      &
      JG said there were several culmative reasons that led to Dan Bailey’s release

      Thank God they talked it through with Bailey prior to the final cut

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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