Given the boot

The Dallas Cowboys substituted one controversial kicker for another Monday when they released Mike Vanderjagt and signed Martin Gramatica.

Vanderjagt made the one field goal he attempted in Dallas’ win over Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving Day. But he missed two kicks in the previous game against his former team, Indianapolis, and there were concerns over how he might react in pressure situations. Last year in the second round of the AFC playoffs, Vanderjagt missed a potential tying field goal in the closing seconds as the Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Colts.

Earlier in his career, Vanderjagt, who entered this season as the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, had alienated Colts quarterback Peyton Manning by making critical comments in the offseason.

Gramatica spent three games with Indianapolis earlier this season and made one 20-yard field goal as a substitute for injured kicker Adam Vinatieri. Gramatica was considered one of the top kickers in the NFL during the first four years of his career when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But he slumped badly in the 2003 season. He also injured his knee during one of the exuberant celebrations that marked the early part of his career. He also squabbled with former Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun.