Cowboys bring K Brett Maher back, waive potential competitor

The Dallas Cowboys signed UDFA kicker Jonathan Garibay from Texas Tech with incredibly high hopes. The job was anything but his to lose. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.

The coaching staff gave the former Red Raider two solid weeks of camp to improve on his inconsistent field goal kicks, and he didn’t. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the rookie only landed 34 of 57 kicks at camp. That’s a success rate of 59.6%. His veteran competitor, Lirim Hajrullahu, made 42 of 56 (75%).

Thus, the Cowboys brought reinforcements Tuesday morning, albeit inferior. Matt Ammendola, Cole Murphy, JJ Molson and former (not so beloved) Cowboy Brett Maher all came for a tryout at Oxnard. Many fans were angry at the choice to bring in Maher, who was miraculously less accurate than Greg Zuerlein was in 2021 in 2019.

To be fair, none of the kicker options available at this point are good. These four certainly didn’t elicit any excitement.

Despite Cowboys Nation’s displeasure, the front office and coaching staff announced early Tuesday afternoon that they would sign Maher and waive Garibay. Maher will now compete with Hajrullahu for work.

Cowboys sign former kicker Brett Maher, waive UDFA Jonathan Garibay

The 32-year-old was UDFA himself. He first signed with the New York Jets but eventually spent three years in the CFL before returning to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns in 2017.

Maher played 29 games for the Cowboys in 2018 and 2019. The bad news is that he missed at least one kick (field goal or extra point attempt) in 16 of them. That means he’s missed a kick in 55% of his games, which makes Zuerlein’s frustrating 2021 not so bad. His overall percentage in 2019 was a dismal 66.7%.

The good news is that he did hit winners and set a franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2018. Plus, he got a little better with the New Orleans Saints last season. In 2021, he made 16 out of 18 field goal attempts after not playing at all in 2020.

Cowboys fans probably won’t let the front office experience this one unless Maher somehow has a breakout year back. While he certainly left a sour taste in 2019, the reality is that this fan base Needs Maher to do well for the good of the team. Going into the 2022 season without a kicker is not what the Cowboys need.

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