If you were in any way concerned about Brett Maher’s inconsistency as a kicker with the Dallas Cowboys last season, you may want to stop reading now. Kasey Redfern, a punter, has been pretty much matching Maher kick for kick on field goals in practice according to reports coming out of training.
I don’t know about you, but I find this more than just a little bit concerning. Brett Maher was a 80.6% field goal kicker in 2018 for the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of us remember how big of the threat he was from 50+ yards, making seven out of six from that distance, but his inconsistency on mid-range attempts left much to be desired. And now to be matched kick for kick by a punter seems unfathomable.
It would be different if a veteran say Matt Bryant or Kai Forbath were the ones competing with Brett Maher and matching him on a field goal attempts, but a punter!? Not even a proven veteran punter at that. Kasey Redfern has one measly punt for 50 yards in his entire career in the NFL. Talk about a slap in the face!
I say all this because I think it may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to open up the kicking competition to some outside competitors. It probably won’t be a big surprise now since I’ve already mentioned both their names, but if I was Dallas I’d turn my sites on either Matt Bryant or Kai Forbath. Both are proven veterans and both would be an upgrade compared to what’s currently on their roster.
Matt Bryant is probably the most known commodity of the two. He’s been one of the better kickers in the NFL over the past two decades and has shown no signs of slowing down despite his age (44). At some point though his age will become a factor, which could be a reason why he’s still a free agent.
Over the course of his career, Bryant has made 86.2% of his field goal attempts and 98.8% of his extra points. That’s pretty impressive compared to Maher’s 80.6% on FGs and 97% on XPs. There’s no doubt he’d be an upgrade, although likely a more pricey one.
Kai Forbath is someone the Cowboys should be pretty familiar with already. After all, they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2011 when they had an open kicking competition. Unfortunately for him, he had a pre-existing quad injury that prevented him from practicing and landed him on the non-football injury list. Forbath never got to practice with Dallas and the kicking competition was eventually won by Dan Bailey.
Things could be coming full circle though. Despite things not working out the first time in Dallas, a second stint could be just what the doctor ordered. Since leaving the Cowboys, Forbath has carved himself out a pretty good career in the league. He’s made 85.7% of his FGs and 94% of his XPs in his career. His FG% is slightly under Bryant’s, but quite an improvement over Maher’s.
For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Dallas Cowboys can’t afford to roll the dice at such an important position as kicker. If that means opening up the kicking competition and eventually saying goodbye to Brett Maher, so be it. They can’t allow this position to cost them a single game.