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Cowboys news: Brett Maher has done enough to earn the week one starting job

And other notable headlines surrounding America’s team.

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Brett Maher has Done Enough to Earn Kicking Job, For Now - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

When training camp started, the two candidates for the job were Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu. The winner of the competition is... Brett Maher.

The experiment worked as Maher hit multiple game winners and set a new franchise record with a 62-yarder against the Eagles. But unfortunately, Brett’s accuracy plummeted from over 81% that year to just 67% in 2019. Dallas cut him that December and brought in Kai Forbath to finish the season.

Maher spent 2020 on a few teams’ practice squads but never saw action in a game. He finally got back on the field for the Saints in 2021 and made 16-of-18 field goals, a dramatic improvement in accuracy to almost 89%.

That wasn’t enough to keep Brett in New Orleans or get him a job earlier in the offseason, but it did entice the Cowboys to bring him back a few weeks ago. With neither Lirim Hajrullahu nor Jonathan Garibay doing enough to earn the team’s trust, Dallas instead turned back to a former fling and now appear to be giving him the job for 2022.

Why the Cowboys should’ve used Schultz’s franchise tag money to keep La’el Collins - Terence Watson, The Landry Hat

There are a lot of offseason moves that can be retroactively judged, and this is one of them.

Effective offensive linemen are tough to find in the NFL. Serviceable tight ends can be found a lot easier. That was proven in what the Cowboys were able to find during the draft and after the draft in Ferguson and Hendershot.

A strong case can be made for Cowboys to carry four tight ends on 53-man roster — with undrafted rookie Peyton Hendershot one of them. He responded well Saturday after false start, on very next snap showing speed to separate on over route. Closest comp to Blake Jarwin team has.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 17, 2022

We know the Cowboys don’t have a magic wand with the ability to go back in time, but if they did, they would surely be changing the way this situation has played out. Unless someone decides to release or trade an experienced tackle with the ability to play on both the left and right side, this will be a lingering issue all season. One that quarterback Dak Prescott can’t afford to think about before each snap.

The Cowboys should have kept Collins altogether or used the franchise tag money to get a legitimate veteran OL option on the depth chart. Because they didn’t, Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, and the entire offense will feel the negative effects of the front office’s poor decision-making all year long.

Peyton Place: Rookie TE Hendershot Becomes Cowboys Latest Preseason ‘Legend’ - Geoff Magliochetti, Sports Illustrated

What are your expectations for Hendershot’s rookie campaign?

As Dallas embarked upon a game-winning drive in Friday’s preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks, freshman tight end Peyton Hendershot was poised to play a big role in the trek, getting things started with a 30-yard gain on the opening play. The original 15-yard gain, earned off a reception from Ben DiNucci, doubled after Seattle’s Deontai Williams was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet personal foul.

Alas for Hendershot, Williams’ illegal hit had lasting consequences, damaging his head protection’s padding and chinstrap. Eager to get back on the field, Hendershot turned to relative disguise to get back on the field, assuming the role of teammate and fellow rookie Jake Ferguson.

“We were just standing (on the sidelines), we were waiting for the equipment people to bring me a helmet and no one was bringing me a helmet,” Hendershot recalled. “I said ‘just give me your helmet bro.’ He gave me his helmet and I went in there.”

The gambit paid off: Hendershot’s commandeering came just as the Cowboys (2-1) were entering the red zone. On the sixth and final play of a 75-yard trek, Hendershot earned a score from 14, dodging four defenders in 10 yards after the catch, good enough for the winning difference of the 27-26 victory.

Dallas Cowboys: Future of Malik and Rico tied to future of Zeke – Pollard- Reid Hanson, SportDFW

The final 53-man roster should provide insight into the future of Elliott and Pollard.

Rico Dowdle is smaller, more explosive type of back. He’s a pass –catcher who operates outside of the tackles better than inside. So as you can tell, he’s more in the image of Pollard than Zeke. Malik Davis, 5-foot-10 210 lbs, is more of a one-cut between-the-tackles runner. He’s not a bruiser but he’s physical by nature. He played his college career in a committee so he’s low mileage and familiar with a group effort at RB.

While neither are the bell-cow type Zeke is, both offer different enough skillsets where they’d fit profiles that reflects the games of Tony Pollard than Ezekiel Elliott. Davis is clearly more Zeke-like while Dowdle looks the part of Pollard.

Since both are neck in neck in camp and preseason, the player the Dallas Cowboys ultimately decide to keep could tip us off to how they see the team in 2023. If Davis is kept, Dallas is probably thinking about severing ties with Zeke. If Dowdle is kept, Pollard could be the man on the way out. If both are kept, the Cowboys are likely open to the departure of both/either veteran RB.

Countdown: Where Diggs is Even With Deion - Kurt Daniels,

The 2022 NFL season is on the horizon.

As we count down the days to the start of a new season, we’ll focus on the exact number that will count us down to the Sept. 11 opener against the Bucs.

Today, we will continue with 14 days to the start of the season.

The Play: The play was a simple dump-off to fullback Daryl Johnston, but as famed television announcer John Madden stated during the broadcast, “He doesn’t make a lot of plays, but this one is a big one.”

At 6-feet-2 inches tall and 238 pounds, Emmitt Smith’s battering ram wasn’t exactly known for his grace. His nickname was “Moose” after all. However, Johnston tipped the high toss to himself, stiff-armed a helpless tackler, burst to the end zone and then after crossing the goal line, dove over another Eagles defender and somersaulted to the ground. It was an effort sleek wideout Michael Irvin would have been proud to call his own.

Coming with 7:39 remaining in the game, Johnston’s touchdown secured a 20-10 victory over rival Philadelphia, improved Dallas’ record to 7-1 and sent 65,102 fans home happy, the largest crowd at Texas Stadium since 1985.

5 Dallas Cowboys who should have their roster spots locked up after the preseason - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

These five players have done enough to be on the sideline in Arlington on Sundays.

DaRon Bland

When the Cowboys drafted DaRon Bland out of Fresno State, nobody really knew what to think. He seemed like a project pick at best with the Cowboys being relatively “deep” at cornerback. Bland started off behind Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and more specifically Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.

Camp and the preseason have been kind to Bland though, or rather he has worked his tail off throughout this entire process. Poor play from both of last year’s top 100 cornerback picks by Dallas opened the door that Bland had absolutely no issue barging through.

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