Dallas revealed that Zuerlein’s release saves the team $2.25 million in cap space. Jarwin will still carry a $2 million cap hit but saves the team $3.8 million in cap space. The two moves combined to save the Cowboys more than $6 million cap room.
The moves come for slightly different reasons while achieving the same goal of assisting the Cowboys in getting below the salary cap line before the start of the league year on March 16. Despite his impressive resume, Zuerlein struggled with consistency throughout 2021 missing a career-high six extra points. Zuerlein did not perform up to his typical level after having back surgery last offseason.
Jarwin is recovering from a “very uncommon” hip injury which required surgery, per Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken. The tight end is expected to miss the start of the 2022 season.
“In late February, Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin underwent surgery for a hip injury that is considered very uncommon for an active NFL player, source said,” Gehlken tweeted on March 3. “He is not expected to be available for the start of the 2022 season, clouding his Cowboys future.”
The Cowboys also announced the release of running back Ito Smith, wide receiver Robert Foster and cornerback Reggie Robinson.
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Jones: ‘I Think the Most Important Part of a Kicker Is Consistency’
Zuerlein not only was the subject of frustrated Cowboys fans but also drew the ire of owner Jerry Jones. The leader of the Cowboys revealed his frustration with Zuerlein on multiple occasions throughout last season.
“I think the most important part of a kicker is consistency, consistency and it’s not consistently missing,” Jones told Dallas 105.3 the Fan on January 3.
Heading into the playoffs, Jones admitted that Zuerlein’s play caused the Cowboys coaching staff to adjust their game plan.
“Absolutely it does and we’re well aware and we should be aware, it’s part of running the show and it really does,” Jones explained during a January 11 interview with Dallas’ 105.3 the Fan. “But Zuerlein really brings a lot to the table, his leg strength, his touchbacks, his ability to be a threat at a length of distance, all of that is there.
“He has had [an] exceptionally tough year for him and extra points, but he’s a sound kicker, experienced kicker and our guys are all sensitive about how to approach the game.”
The Cowboys Will Likely be Looking for a New Kicker & Punter
Dallas is also in danger of losing starting Pro Bowl Punter Bryan Anger who will hit free agency. The Cowboys will likely be starting a new kicker and punter when Week 1 rolls around.
“Cowboys conceivably could have three new specialists in 2022. K Greg Zuerlein now released,” Gehlken detailed on Twitter on March 11. “P Bryan Anger should attract stronger offers elsewhere. LS Jake McQuaide is set to become free agent, and if LS Clark Harris not re-signed, Bengals a possibility for Cincinnati native.”