Dallas Cowboys: Brett Maher currently best kicker in NFL

Brett Maher #2 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Brett Maher #2 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

You may not realize it, but the Dallas Cowboys first year kicker, Brett Maher, is quietly becoming one of the NFL’s best kickers.

The Dallas Cowboys shocked the nation when they dispatched veteran captain, Dan Bailey, in favor of a 28-year-old rookie from the CFL named Brett Maher. Bailey entered the season as the second most accurate kicker in the NFL all-time. But the former All-Pro struggled in recent seasons as age and injury inevitably caught up with him.

His two most recent seasons (2016, 2017) he survived more by reputation than results. His numbers indicated he was actually slightly below the league average in accuracy and his power and range were becoming more and more apparent by the day.

Bailey’s release was admitedly a surprise but I spoke of his decline a few months ago, even questioning Bailey’s roster spot this season:

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Still, replacing a long-time fan favorite with a 28-year-old rookie was a significant gamble for the Dallas Cowboys front office. Even in the consequence-free environment the Family Jones enjoys, Jerry and Stephen admit to be feeling the heat watching it all play out.

After missing his first attempt of the season, Maher has become arguably the best kicker in the NFL, stringing together a league-best 15 consecutive field goals. Of those with 12 or more attempts, Maher is leading the pack, tied with the Jets Jason Myers with a 94 percent success rate.

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These haven’t been chip-ins either. No one has more 50+ makes than Maher, who is a perfect three-for-three. With his power a clear asset, Maher can seemingly deliver touchbacks at will. He has been showing good hang time on some goal line kicks – intended to tempt returners into returning them all while giving coverage team enough time to close in.

This is extremely early in Brett Maher’s career so as Bill Parcells would say, let’s put the anointing oil away for now. The good news is he’s already kicked a last-second game winner which is clearly the biggest monkey on any rookies’ back.

For the Dallas Cowboys to seamlessly transition from Bailey to Maher is against all odds and Cowboys Nation must consider ourselves pretty fortunate. Bailey is sitting at 80% on the year and seems to be losing power by the day. One of his missed kicks this season was in the 20-29 yard range –a kick the old (young) Bailey never would have missed. It appears the Cowboys made the smart move here.

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No one knows what the future brings, but as of today, the Dallas Cowboys have one of the most accurate kickers in the league. Brett Maher offers both savings and reliability to the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s hope it all continues.

  • Published on 10/19/2018 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 10/19/2018 at 11:29 AM