2 Reasons Greg Zuerlein’s issues are a blessing for the Dallas Cowboys

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /
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dallas cowboys
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

Now hear me out! — Those words are how I led this pitch at our writers meeting, and they’re how I’m going to lead off the article for you fine people today. Make no mistake, I readily admit the Dallas Cowboys veteran kicker, Greg Zuerlein, is a problem.

The 34-year-old placekicker has missed kicks in five of the last 10 games. His 87.8% extra point rate is disgusting and inexcusable. His inconsistency is about the only consistent thing in his game these days.

I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been holding my breath every time No. 2 trots out and lines up those uprights.

If given the choice between Zuerlein and half the place-kickers in the NFL, I’d go with the latter without even a morsel of hesitation. But that’s not the reality we live in so I’m looking at things a different way

Greg Zuerlein’s issues are actually a blessing in disguise for the Dallas Cowboys struggling offense.

The way I see it, there are two blessings to come from Greg Zuerlein’s struggles this season:

  1. The impact on offensive play-calling
  2. We have a pretty idea what Greg’s range is these days

Blessing No. 1: Impact on Offense

As we discussed earlier in the week, the Dallas Cowboys have legitimate issues on offense. No one is playing great and by most accounts, the Cowboys offense has been nothing better than average since Week 9 of this season.

light. Related Story. How worried should Cowboys fans be about this offense

The only glimmers of hope have come when the Cowboys are moving fast, with urgency, and a little off-script. Methodical just ain’t working for this struggling crew. If an inconsistent kicker makes them more aggressive on offense – then I say this could be a very good thing.

I’ve long preached against the strategy of “playing for manageable third downs.” Not only is it focused on the wrong goal (which should be to increase scoring probability each and every play) but it’s misguided overall regarding what is a manageable situation.

Converting third downs is hard, that’s why most situations over 1.5 yards favor the defense. There’s nothing “manageable” about 3rd-and-3, so why are so many offensive coordinators happy about being on the wrong side of those odds?

Playing aggressively from the start of the drive is the best way to increase scoring probability. I talked about early down play calling yesterday and how the Dallas Cowboys are killing their offense with so many unsuccessful early down runs. They can’t keep digging holes for the offense and expect it to work out.

What does any of this have to do with a slumping kicker?