The Dallas Cowboys made a late-season switch at kicker last year when they released Brett Maher and added veteran Kai Forbath. After Forbath was basically perfect for his three games, should Dallas entrust him with the job for the 2020 season?
Forbath went 10-for-10 on field goals and also made all 10 of his extra point attempts. His only issue was on his very first kickoff in Week 15 that went out of bounds.
It was a welcome change from the sporadic play of Maher. While Forbath doesn’t have the record-breaking leg that Brett does, he also wasn’t missing kicks from the 30-49 yard ranges.
Kai’s contract was only through 2019 so he is scheduled to be another of the Cowboys’ many free agents this offseason. He turns 33 in September; still in prime age for kickers.
With so many roster decisions to make and other needs for draft picks, Dallas might choose to just re-sign Forbath and treat him as the starter for 2020. It doesn’t mean they won’t bring in another kicker to training camp, but there’s a difference between adding an extra leg and holding a true competition.
One major wrinkle here is the change at Special Teams Coordinator. Keith O’Quinn is out and John Fassel, one of the most respected name in the realm of special teams, has been added to Mike McCarthy’s staff in Dallas.
A guy with Fassel’s background in the kicking game is going to have plenty of his own ideas about who he wants. He may have a list of players floating around that he would like to bring in over Forbath, or at least to compete with Kai.
Forbath’s three games in 2019 were certainly good enough for him to merit consideration. But while he aced his audition, but the new coaching staff wasn’t there for it.
The kicker position is one of the most maddening in football. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a guy that you cling to for a decade, but there are never 32 of them to go around. Some teams just have to hope they catch the right guy during a hot streak.
Will Dallas let Kai Forbath return and try to continue his hot streak into 2020? He gave them reason for hope, but other factors could lead them in another direction.