The Cowboys returned to Texas on Sunday. It marked the end of a long training camp period in Oxnard.
Sunday also marked the three week countdown to the regular season opener for the team. At that time the New York Giants will be at AT&T Stadium and we’ll officially be underway. Three weeks is 21 days.
That’s how long the Cowboys have to figure out what’s happening with their kicker situation.
Brett Maher missed again and that’s extremely concerning
The Cowboys gave Brett Maher, their already shaky kicker, a shot at a 52-yard field goal while in Hawaii against the Rams. It was a kick from the right hash mark, one that Maher is struggling with, and he managed to miss it by pushing it left. Perhaps he overcompensated.
Maher’s latest miss was another grim update to his time as an NFL kicker. Since taking over for Dan Bailey last season, he’s certainly produced some moments that made us all cheer (he had game-winners against both the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons), but there are facts that cannot be ignored. Brett Maher over the last year:
- Missed at least one kick (either a field goal or extra point) in 8 of 16 regular season games
- Missed at least one kick in 1 of 2 playoff games
- Has missed at least one kick in both preseason games in 2019
Maher is currently sitting on a 60% successful field goal rate in the preseason which is down significantly from the 80% mark that he put up through the 2018 regular season.
This hash mark thing is extremely concerning. So much of kicking is a mental exercise and if Maher is truly struggling from the right hash mark then it’s fair to assume he’s thinking about that every time he attempts one. In fact, almost every field goal that he’s attempted through the preseason has come from the right hash:
- 25-yard attempt (right hash), GOOD
- 40-yard attempt (right hash), GOOD
- 35-yard attempt (right hash), NO GOOD
- 31-yard attempt (left hash), GOOD
- 52-yard attempt (right hash), NO GOOD
When the Cowboys scored their two touchdowns against the Rams that meant they got to attempt extra points (shocker!). If you were unaware, on extra points kickers have the option of choosing where they want to kick it from. In both instances Maher chose to go from the left hash mark (he made them both, by the way).
It’s possible that the Cowboys instructed Maher to go from the left hash, but it’s also possible that he made this choice on his own. It makes one wonder that considering his accuracy from the right (50% this preseason) if he chose to purposely go somewhere that he’s more accurate from (100% from the left this preseason).
The fact that Maher has a problem, any problem, is disconcerting for Cowboys fans as this team played 13 games last season that were decided by one score. Kicking is such an underrated asset in football and if the Cowboys can’t rely on their kicker they’re going to be in some precarious situations throughout the 2019 season.