clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Greg Zuerlein was basically the worst extra point kicker in the NFL last season

The Cowboys need to have a kicker discussion over the coming months.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have a rather long to-do list to take care of this offseason. When you come up short for the 26th year in a row, things tend to pile up. Among the many things fans want to see the Cowboys address is the kicker position. Kicker is an important position in the NFL as it is responsible for directly putting points on the board. Dallas has left too many off of it by putting their trust behind the foot of Greg Zuerlein.

We have discussed Zuerlein at many different turns and if it weren’t for his watermelon kick in the early days of his time with the Cowboys it would have mostly been negative. The truth is that he is rather unreliable when it comes to kicking field goals.

Greg Zuerlein was basically the worst extra point kicker in the NFL last season

Amazingly, Zuerlein is even less reliable at an even easier part of his job, making extra points. Once upon a time XPs were simply a formality, and while they are a little bit more interesting these days, they should still be a rather easy proposition, especially for a kicker like Zuerlein who spends most of his time indoors and away from the outdoor elements.

This was not the case in 2021. Among kickers who had at least 1.5 attempts per game scheduled, Zuerlein literally had the worst percentage of success.

Pro Football Reference

It should come as no surprise to learn that Zuerlein’s 87.5% “success” rate last season was a career low for him. What you may be ridiculously frustrated surprised to learn though is that his previous career low was 91.7% which he achieved in 2020 during his only other season with the Cowboys.

The Cowboys should be able to trust Zuerlein to make field goals. No one is saying this isn’t true. But it is an insanely different and more depressing level of disappointment to know that they can’t even trust him for extra points. Keeping him around (he is under contract through 2022) is only playing with fire.

Comparing the Cowboys to one of the Super Bowl teams, just look at what rookie Evan McPherson has meant to the Cincinnati Bengals. He is a perfect 12 for 12 on field goals throughout the postseason. Consider that at no point throughout his two-year career with the Cowboys has Greg Zuerlein ever made 12 consecutive field goals.

In our SB Nation Reacts survey presented by DraftKings Sportsbook this week, users voted McPherson as a better player than Matt Gay who is the current kicker for the Los Angeles Rams, the team that gave up on Zuerlein two years ago.

John Fassel has done wonders for the Cowboys special teams group. It is now time for him to detach himself emotionally from Zuerlein and move on for the greater good.

We’ll see if that happens or not.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.