Ever since the Cowboys cut Dan Bailey in September of 2018, the kicking for the Cowboys has been shaky. If we’re honest, Bailey’s last season in Dallas (2017) was a little shaky, too. Since then, the Cowboys have relied on Brett Maher for the most part, with a little Kai Forbath added in to finish out the 2019 season.
Bailey’s 2017 season ended with him making 75% of his kicks. Maher hit 80% in 2018, but slid to 66.7% in 2019. The Cowboys waited far too long to let him go, and when they did Forbath came in and hit 10 out of 10 kicks.
You can’t say that the Cowboys aren’t doing everything they can to improve their kicker position in 2020.
That ending flourish by Forbath in 2019 earned him a new contract with the Cowboys for 2020. The Cowboys also went out and hired Jim Fassel to coach special teams and he is considered one of the best in the business. Then, once Greg Zuerlein became available from the Rams, the Cowboys went out and signed him. That’s two kickers and a new special teams coach.
But could it be the Cowboys aren’t done yet?
In one of the odder pieces of news concerning player acquisition, the Cowboys are reportedly interested in a Japanese kicker, Toshiki Sato.
“The Cowboys and Raiders are interested. I’m waiting for an offer,” Sato, who plays for X-League side IBM Big Blue, told Kyodo News in a recent interview.
“The Cowboys might be difficult since they have three kickers and one has a big contract, but the Raiders only have two. I think there’s a chance I could get an invite if those two don’t do well at the upcoming camp.”
Sato’s quick bio:
After winning back-to-back high school championships, Sato attended Waseda University and in 2015 helped the school’s team reach the Koshien Bowl, Japan’s college football national championship. Last November, he set the X-League record with a 58-yard field goal for IBM.
It seems unlikely that the Cowboys are seriously interested in Sato for anything more than a training camp invite to handle some kicking chores. While Forbath stands a chance at the full-time job, it is definitely Zuerlein’s to lose. He has been one of the better kickers in the league despite having a down year in 2019, he has a history with Jim Fassel, and he got a pretty significant contract as far as kickers go.
Still, it’s good to see that the Cowboys are looking everywhere, and we do mean everywhere, for a quality kicker.