5 reasons the Dallas Cowboys aren’t playing in Super Bowl LIV

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 20: Brett Maher #2 of the Dallas Cowboys kicks a 63-yard field goal during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in the game at AT&T Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Special Teams

When assessing the three phases of the game and ranking their importance, Special Teams always comes in a distant third. It’s rare when Special Teams (outside of kicking) plays an active role in winning or losing. But on the 2019 Dallas Cowboys, Special Teams played had a huge role in multiple losses this season.

The struggles of Brett Maher were well documented and the fact that he was one of the best deep ball field goal kickers in NFL history seemed to only complicate matters. Maher went .500 from over 50-yards but only 1 for 5 between 40-49.

Maher’s proficiency from deep seemed to encourage the Dallas Cowboys to hold onto him longer than they should have. By the time Jerry Jones finally accepted reality – that Maher’s inconsistency from intermediate was more damaging than his deep shots were helpful – the kicking game got back on course. But by then we were well within “too little too late” territory and even Kai Forbath couldn’t save the season.

But for as bad as the kicking was, it was the other parts of special teams that ultimately doomed the Dallas Cowboys. Keith O’Quinn was overmatched as a coach and it showed on the field. Miscues killed the Cowboys all season long and special teams failure outside of field goal kicking led to multiple losses on the season.

Football Outsiders ranked Dallas No. 30 in the NFL in Special Teams, which frankly, seems generous.

Want to know another reason the NFL’s top ranked offense and top-10 ranked defense somehow failed to have a winning record? I give you exhibit B.