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John Fassel attributes Greg Zuerlein’s struggles in 2019 to a groin pull

An explanation for Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein’s off year in 2019.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It has been just about two years since the Dallas Cowboys stunned us all and released longtime kicker Dan Bailey. Ever since then it has been a rocky, to say the least, journey to find stability at the all-important position.

Dallas elected to go with Brett Maher for all of the 2018 season and while the results weren’t terrible that honeymoon was short-lived. Maher was one of the worst kickers in the NFL last year, was cut after Thanksgiving, and is somewhat emblematic of the problems that existed under the old coaching regime.

Those are things in the rearview mirror, though. The Cowboys have moved on, have a new head coach, and even have a new special teams coordinator. John Fassel met with the media for the first time since leaving the Los Angeles Rams for America’s Team and he said something rather interesting about the team’s new kicker.

John Fassel attributes Greg Zuerlein’s struggles in 2019 to a groin pull

It hasn’t been too long since the Cowboys cut the kicker that actually had success for them in 2019 as they released Kai Forbath recently. The finances of the contracts they signed already indicated this, but the job officially became Greg Zuerlein’s when that move was executed.

Football fans know Zuerlein has a booming leg but he struggled in 2019. John Fassel was asked what he diagnosed about this and he chalked it up to a groin pull. He noted that he expects Zuerlein to be good moving forward.

“I diagnosed a groin pull. In all honesty. He was going into the last year of his contract and he wanted to kick through a pretty good groin pull. There was about a six to eight week stretch that we just didn’t even kick him during the course of the game week. He had been so great and so reliable for us for so many years, especially the couple of previous years that we just wanted to try to just ride him through it. And not to make excuses, and Greg will be the last one to do it, but that has a factor on your ability to swing like you normally would. And so fully healed I expect Greg to be one of the top if not the top kicker in the league for the next couple years for us Cowboys.”

Understandably, the subject of Zuerlein came up a few times in Fassel’s presser as the two have a longstanding relationship. It is clear that John Fassel greatly believes in Zuerlein and believes in his potential as a kicker. Given Fassel’s reputation as one of the best special teams coordinators in the NFL, this is obviously worth putting some stock in.

Time will tell whether or not Zuerlein ends up being one of the most accurate kickers in the league while wearing a star on his helmet. Things are off to a good start for him, hopefully they stay that way.

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