We’re getting closer to official practices and what not in preparation for the 2018 NFL season beginning. All of these things are carefully dictated and laid out, and they must be used properly.
The Cowboys are looking to be as smart as possible, and sometimes that means operating in the interest of conservation. That’s what their latest acquisition looks like as the Cowboys are reportedly bringing in kicker/punter Brett Maher.
The Cowboys have a deal with kicker/punter Brett Maher. He was with the team briefly in the 2013 offseason and had been in the CFL since 2014. He played last season for the Ottawa Redblacks. His signing is more about not overworking Dan Bailey and... https://t.co/48AE8snBvV— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) April 4, 2018
Maher did indeed spend time with the Cowboys as Todd Archer notes, it was all of two whole weeks back in the early parts of 2013.
The idea of rationing Dan Bailey specifically is one I touched on this past Monday here at BTB. Data shows that on average over 50% of his work in NFL games is kickoff duty.
If the Cowboys can conserve over 50% of his usage... shouldn’t they? If having someone else handle kickoffs helps Dan Bailey’s ability to be more accurate down the stretches of season, doesn’t that help their offense and residually their chances to win?
Brett Maher is likely joining the Cowboys to handle things like kickoffs and punts in practice so returners can get their work without Dan Bailey and Chris Jones putting in overtime on their legs. As silly as it sounds, this is something even the great Adam Vinatieri has mentioned before. From 2015:
Vinatieri has a luxury that not every kicker is fortunate to have. Punter Pat McAfee handles kickoff duties, which saves some wear and tear on Vinatieri’s right leg during the season.
“I don’t for sure know how it would have affected me if I would have continued to kick off the last six years,” Vinatieri said. “It gets down to the number of reps again. I have about half as many reps when I’m not kicking off anymore, so it allows me quicker recovery and all that. Pat does such an amazing job. We’re very fortunate to have him. I’m very fortunate to have him as a teammate.
Let’s save those golden legs, Dan and Chris. Do your thing, but do it when it matters.