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Cowboys HC Jason Garrett Names Starting Kicker After Veteran Tryouts

The Dallas Cowboys‘ Rolodex updated, head coach Jason Garrett declared Monday that Brett Maher will remain the team’s kicker for the remainder of the season.

“Those three guys did a nice job for us, but Brett is going to be our kicker going forward,” Garrett said, per The Athletic.

Despite the recent vote of confidence in its struggling incumbent, the Cowboys opted to host competition for Maher. The team worked out three veteran kickers —  Nick Rose, Austin MacGinnis and Tristan Vizcaino — following Sunday’s afternoon practice, Dallas’ first ahead of its Thursday night matchup at Chicago.

“We’re bringing three different kickers in — not to say we’re making that decision,” Garrett said, per the club’s official website. “We just want to see these guys, just like we would if we were bringing in other players at other positions.”

Rose, 25, was the biggest name of the trio, having played for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets and Houston Texans since entering the NFL as a 2016 undrafted free agent.

MacGinnis and Vizcaino have never appeared in a regular-season contest.

Say this for the embattled Garrett: There’s no settling for inconsistency on special teams. He challenged Maher to shape up or risk getting shipped out while delicately preserving Maher’s confidence after bringing his potential replacement into The Star.

“He’d be the first to tell you that he’s got to make some of the shorter intermediate range kicks that he’s missed,” Garrett said Sunday, per the team’s website. “So we’ll focus on that and try to help him in anyway way that we can.”

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Reason for Tryouts

Seeing as how the Cowboys quickly did an about-face on Maher — team VP Stephen Jones claimed the club would not work out free-agents — but didn’t add another kicker suggests this was a tactic to motivate and/or scare Maher, who missed an end-of-half field goal attempt, due to it being deflected, then pushed a 47-yard third-quarter attempt wide right in last week’s loss to the Bills.

Mostly reliable last year, Maher has been remarkably inconsistent in 2019. He’s 19-for-28 on the year with a long of 63 yards, which tied an NFL record and set a new franchise mark. He’s made all of his extra-point tries — 33-for-33.  However, Maher is just 6-of-12 on FG attempts at AT&T Stadium this season, and his unsuccessful boots are often from short distances or come at inopportune times.

More likely than not, the Cowboys would sign Rose if Maher continues his struggles. They now have three names on their emergency list, which come in handy this time of year, especially for a team atop its division.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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