Cowboys must consider Brandon McManus at kicker after Denver release
“There’s veterans on the street right now.”
That’s what Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel said recently when asked about the team’s admittedly shaky status at the kicker position, adding, “Anybody else on earth who is not on the team right now is under consideration.”
Well, now there’s one more veteran out there to consider.
The Denver Broncos released Brandon McManus on Tuesday after nine seasons with the club. The surprise announcement immediately caused Cowboys fans to wonder if he’d be a potential answer for the squad, which has only unproven commodity Tristan Vizcaino on the current roster.
McManus, 31, has a regular-season career field goal percentage of 81.4%, just a fraction better than Brett Maher, who is currently a free agent. Maher famously missed a league-record four PATs in the Cowboys’ wild-card win over Tampa Bay and then had another attempt blocked the following week versus San Francisco.
The @Broncos have informed me I’ve been released. More to come in the following days
— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) May 23, 2023
McManus had his worst season as a pro in 2022, missing eight field goal attempts. He is not known as having a particularly strong leg, but has been the NFL’s fourth-most accurate kicker from 54 yards or less over the past four seasons.
McManus was perfect (10-of-10 field goals, 3-of-3 PATs) during Denver’s run to the Super Bowl 50 title, but he now joins a group of high-profile free agent kickers that also includes Robbie Gould, Mason Crosby, and Ryan Succop. Fassel mentioned each of them by name- and even included Maher- when asked about the team’s possible options for 2023.
An offer for Cowboys fans
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Here’s a quick look at how the five veterans compare (regular season plus playoffs):
Maher’s postseason misses are the ones that stick out for Cowboys fans; they were the most recent and the most troubling. But in the regular season, Maher outperformed everyone on this list.
Take any other factor, though- age, home kicking conditions, experience- and you can almost convince yourself that any kicker on the list is the way for Dallas to go in 2023.
But it will all come down to what the club’s special teams guru sees.
“There’s a lot of guys that have performed in the NFL,” Fassel said.
It’s probably time to start bringing some of them in, because the Cowboys are suddenly not the only team shopping for a kicker.
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