Dallas Cowboys’ Kicker Brett Maher is continuing a disturbing trend this season causing panic across Cowboys Nation, but is there really a cause for concern?
Brett Maher essentially shocked the world (aka Cowboys Nation) when he supplanted team captain Dan Bailey as the Dallas Cowboys place kicker last season. His stellar training camp combined with Bailey’s age, salary, and waning confidence gave way to one of the most surprising cuts in Cowboys history.
Unfortunately, training camp this summer isn’t going nearly as well as last, and Brett Maher’s weaknesses from 2018, are again an issue here in 2019. Without viable competition in camp, the Dallas Cowboys may not have a whole lotta options if they decide to deviate from the Maher highway.
Last season showed Cowboys Nation exactly what the Dallas Cowboys saw when they decided to part ways with long-time placekicker, Dan Bailey. Maher, blessed with an enormous leg, was able to hit clutch field goals from incredible distances, and seemly offer touchbacks at will (two things that the declining Bailey struggled with). But the season also offered up a reason as to why the the 28-year-old kicker was available in the first place: his intermediate inconsistency.
On field goals over 50 yards, Maher went a staggering 6 for 7. His 86 percent accuracy from deep is among the best in the league – not just last season, but all-time.
The same can’t be said for the intermediate distances: On field goals between 40-49 yards, Maher only managed to succeed 64 percent of the time (going 7 for 11). Even the gimmie shots between 30-39 yards, Maher missed two attempts, going 6 for 8 with a 75 percent success rate.
As we’ve seen in Cowboys Camp here in 2019, Maher has continued his disturbing trend of speckling in some inopportune shanks in with his highlight deep balls. In the Dallas Cowboys Blue-White Scrimmage, Maher choked on a 32-yarder, sending a chill of panic down the spine of everyone in Cowboys Nation.
All indications are Brett Maher is showing us exactly who he is: He’s a kicker who can hit from ridiculously deep and steal a game the Dallas Cowboys have no business winning. And he’s also a kicker who can miss a routine attempt and cost the Cowboys a game they have no business losing.
Raise your hand if you’re cool with that.
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For a team that struggled in the red zone, this is not a situation you can afford to deal with into the regular season. Now, if Maher can improve his consistency between 30-49 yards to more like 80-85% (roughly average for an NFL kicker), the Dallas Cowboys will be in great shape in 2019. But that’s a pretty big jump from 68%.
The good news is Brett Maher is easily replaceable.
There isn’t a great list of well-known options out there in free agency, but there are options. And as we see every season, some decent obscure players are out there and suspect kickers are easily replaceable, even at the last minute.
The Dallas Cowboys may not have any attractive options to push or replace Maher here in Oxnard, but they are monitoring teams around the NFL to see who’s likely to come available. At a plug and play position like kicker, this is something that could wait until the 11th hour.
Brett Maher has time to instill confidence, but he’s going to have to do a lot to show the last ten months of intermediate inconsistency are behind him.
- Published on 08/07/2019 at 11:45 AM
- Last updated at 08/07/2019 at 11:28 AM