Another week, another message to Brett Maher.
The Dallas Cowboys incumbent kicker appears dangerously close to losing his job over his continued inability to split the uprights. Maher missed a 42-yard attempt in Thursday’s loss to the Bears. A historic feat: He’s already blown 10 FG opportunities this season, more than any NFL kicker in a single season within the past four years, according to NFL Research.
Thus, Dallas is once again hosting Maher competition, slated to bring in three free agents — Kai Forbath, Nick Rose and Tristan Vizcaino — for workouts Monday, the team announced Sunday night.
The Cowboys gave tryouts to Vizcaino, Rose and Austin MacGinnis last week but opted against signing any of them. MacGinnis and Vizcaino have never appeared in a regular-season game.
“Those three guys did a nice job for us, but Brett is going to be our kicker going forward,” head coach Jason Garrett said on Dec. 2, per The Athletic.
Forbath is a new addition to both the workout pool and the open market. An eighth-year veteran, he recently appeared in one game for the snakebitten Patriots, replacing Nick Folk, who replaced Mike Nugent, who replaced starter Stephen Gostkowski.
In Week 13, his Patriots debut, Forbath hit a 23-yard field goal but went 1-for-2 on extra points. He was waived the following day.
Forbath, 32, owns a career 85.8 percent field goal percentage, having drilled 121 of 141 attempts and 173 of 185 extra points across stints with the Patriots, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
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Probable Replacement if Maher’s Ousted
Provided they’re pulling from the aforementioned pool, Forbath or Rose likely would get the nod if Dallas determines that Maher has worn out his welcome as the 2018 successor to Dan Bailey.
Rose 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.
He spent eight games in 2017 as the Redskins’ primary kicker and two games last year as the Chargers’ kicker. For his career, Rose has made 11-of-14 field goal attempts, with a long of 55, and connected on 23-of-26 extra-point tries.
Garrett Hints at Lineup Changes for Week 15
Feeling the sweltering heat under his posterior, the embattled Cowboys coach is mulling alterations to his starting lineups following the team’s 31-24 loss to Chicago — their third consecutive defeat. Garrett, who affirmed that no staff changes would take place, did not specify which players are destined for the bench.
“The guys who earn the playing time by playing the right way are going to play more,” he said Friday, per ESPN.com. “Obviously you can’t swap everybody out. That’s not what we’re talking about, but we have to look for opportunities to play the guys who play the right way and have done that consistently when they’ve gotten opportunities.”
One obvious tweak could come at tight end, where third-year man Blake Jarwin offers higher pass-catching upside than incumbent 37-year-old Jason Witten, who totaled 37 yards on five receptions against the Bears. Jarwin finished third on Dallas’ offense with six grabs for 50 yards.
It’s also worth wondering if nose tackle Antwaun Woods now resides in Garrett’s doghouse after his recent drug-related arrest. Second-round rookie Trysten Hill started in Woods’ place in the Windy City, notching two tackles. Christian Covington was more impressive, logging two solo stops and a quarterback hit.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL