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

When was released by the , a calculated move that was processed on a Friday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have my former radio show “” 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 was something that still needed processing.

In a stunning change of faith at the position, the Cowboys release of Dan Bailey yesterday drew the same reaction from many – or not. When Cowboys games came down to field goals, with just as many people rooting for 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 has grown, and it's unfortunate that the second most accurate kicker in NFL 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, , 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 in 2013.

At the time, he was the proverbial “warm body” to kick field goals while Bailey healed from an . 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 .

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

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 match up at the . For the first time in years, the team's is less of a concern than the 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.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
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 every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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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

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
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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