Dallas Cowboys Blessing No. 2: We know Greg Zuerlein’s range
Over the past two seasons Greg Zuerlein is only kicking 36% from beyond 50-yards. Compare that to his 86% hit rate between 40-49 yard attempts and you have a new threshold to guide decision-making, don’t you?
Making 86% between 40-49 yards is pretty darn good. He’s missed the same number of kicks from that distance as Justin Tucker.
Suddenly, Greg isn’t quite so inconsistent – at least not if you know his limitations.
Overall, Greg Zuerlein isn’t as bad as we feel he is. I was shocked to see he has a somewhat-digestible 82.4% field goal overall hit rate this year. He has four seasons worse than that on his resume and most of those came in the first half of half of his career.
Take away his attempts from over 50 this year and Zuerlein’s actually a decent field goal kicker (“decent” still being the operative word here).
Greg has attempted 29 field goals between 20-49 yards this season and has made 26 of them. His 90% accuracy rating on field goals under 49 yards isn’t bad. In fact, that’s a perfectly acceptable number when you really start to think about it.
The point is: stop attempting 50+ yard field goals. Greg Zuerlein just isn’t that guy anymore.
The elephant in the room are those missed extra points. Those are inexcusable and unexplainable. And aside from going-for-two every time, I’m not sure they’re avoidable (no, I do not want to go for 2-points after every TD). All it takes is one miss in a playoff game and everything can change. I get it and it keeps me up at night.
But that just reaffirms the fact that this Dallas Cowboys offense needs to stay aggressive. You don’t know when an untimely missed point is going to pop up. It’s all the more reason for Kellen to keep his foot on the gas and Dak to avoid conservative decision-making.
Look, I don’t want to have an untrustworthy kicker any more than any of you, but the reality is this is who we have and no one is going to change that.
What I can point out is he’s not all that bad if we can just understand his range. And there may even be some positive unintended consequences that can come from it in the form of play-calling (both early down and late down) as well.
The Greg Zuerlein situation appears to be manageable, Cowboys Nation. The Dallas Cowboys just need to respond appropriately.