Following two open tryouts, the Dallas Cowboys have a new kicker.
The team announced Monday that it has signed ex-Patriots K Kai Forbath and, in a corresponding roster move, waived struggling incumbent Brett Maher.
The news broke moments after Cowboys VP Stephen Jones suggested a transaction was imminent.
“Not unlike our team, there have been some ups and downs. We just have to evaluate it. … When we’re ready to make a decision on which direction we’re going this week, we’ll let everybody know,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, per The Athletic.
As previously reported, Dallas hosted free agents Forbath, Nick Rose and Tristan Vizcaino at The Star Monday morning, with the former winning out to become Maher’s successor. 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.
Forbath was an 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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Maher’s Inconsistency Led to Downfall
Mostly reliable last year, Maher was remarkably inconsistent this season. He went 20-for-30 on field goal attempts with a long of 63 yards, which set a new franchise mark. He’s made all of his extra-point tries — 36-for-36. However, Maher was just 6-of-12 on FG attempts at AT&T Stadium this season, and his unsuccessful boots often were from short distances and came at inopportune times.
The nail in the coffin was a 42-yard miss in last week’s loss to Chicago. Salt in the wound: Maher’s 10 blown FG tries this season are more than any NFL kicker in a single season within the past four years, according to NFL Research.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL