Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does not sound like a man that is confident in the team’s starting kicker Greg Zuerlein heading into the playoffs. Jones admitted that Zuerlein’s shaky play will have an impact on the team’s postseason 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.”
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Jones Admitted the Cowboys Explored Adding a Potential Replacement Kicker
For those hoping that the Cowboys will have another kicker for the postseason, Jones emphasized that it was not that simple. Jones admitted the Cowboys explored potentially adding a kicker but were unable to find a viable replacement.
“You can rest assured that that was the first thing that you look at, and if a better alternative would be out there, we’d be using it,” Jones responded when asked about signing another kicker. “Everything’s at stake.”
Jones’ comments come just one week after the Cowboys owner put Zuerlein on notice heading into the team’s regular season finale against the Eagles.
“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 essentially calling out Zuerlein. “That’s it.”
McCarthy on Zuerlein: ‘He’ll be Ready to Go Sunday’
Jones’ comments have a remarkably different tone than Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy who voiced comments in Zuerlein. At least publicly, McCarthy has no concerns with trusting Zuerlein in critical situations.
“Greg’s a pro from every angle,” McCarthy told reporters on January 10. “He was in here today. He has a very diligent work schedule that he follows and if anything, you have to watch that he does too much would be the tendency. So yeah, no I have great confidence in him, and so he’ll be ready to go Sunday.”
Cowboys S.T. Coach Thinks Zuerlein Is Dealing With Mental Challenges While Kicking
Special teams coordinator John Fassel has continued to back Zuerlein throughout his struggles this season. Fassel also coached Zuerlein with the Rams and believes the kicker is dealing with some mental issues with his kicks. This is not exactly an encouraging thing for Cowboys fans to hear just days before the postseason begins.
“Yeah, I think we’re at the point now where there’s a few things that he knows how to tighten something up that he’s been working on,” Fassel remarked during his January 11 press conference. “But i think at this point, you know, 17 games in and he missed all the preseason, of course, but I think it is just psychological, and there’s actually something we’re going to do to help him out a little bit that we talked about, so.
“But yeah, I think the biggest part is just having a confidence that this thing is going right down the middle every time.”