Cowboys place Greg Zuerlein on COVID list, to work out Brett Maher

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Kicker Greg Zuerlein has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, according to the Cowboys. As of Tuesday afternoon, it is not known if Zuerlein tested positive for the virus or was deemed a close contact of someone else who received a positive test.

Until the kicker’s exact status is made public, it is also unclear if he would be eligible to return to action before Sunday’s game versus the Falcons at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Zuerlein got no kicking opportunities in Week 9’s loss to Denver, save for three kickoffs. He missed a field goal in each of the two previous games, and two in the season opener. He is 14-of-18 on three-point tries, 21-of-23 on extra points for the season.

Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys would be looking at new options on Wednesday.

Currently, the Cowboys do not have a backup kicker. When Zuerlein was on injured reserve during training camp, the team brought in Lirim Hajrullahu for a short preseason stint. The former CFL All-Star was re-signed to Dallas briefly as special teams coordinator John Fassel assessed Zuerlein’s Week 1 troubles.

Brett Maher is reported to be one of the kickers being looked at. Maher played for Dallas in 2018 and for most of 2019, going 49-of-66 on field goals and 68-of-69 on PATs. Maher made multiple kicks of 60-plus yards as a Cowboy, but was released late in the 2019 season over accuracy issues.

Kai Forbath, who went 10-for-10 on field goals and 10-for-10 on extra points for the Cowboys during a three-game spell in 2019 (when he took over for Maher), is among the experienced NFL kickers not currently on a roster.

Fassel has said that punter Bryan Anger would be the team’s emergency kicker for an in-game situation. He’s also suggested that wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, defensive end Azur Kamara, and center Tyler Biadasz all have some degree of kicking skill, though the Dallas coaching staff is certainly not considering using any of them in an actual game if there is time to secure the services of a free agent specialist.

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