Specialty positions play a crucial role in a team’s success. Currently the Dallas Cowboys have uncertainty at all three specialty roles.
As Dallas Cowboys fans know well, winning is a game of inches. A bad day at the office for a place kicker can tarnish an otherwise impressive team performance. A shank punt can set an opponent up with a short field on the way to a winning score.
The roles of kicker, punter, and long snapper are all highly important to ultimate success of a season. If one position is severely lacking, the whole team will suffer. As of now all three specialty roles are unsettled in Dallas.
WHO’S SPLITTING THE UPRIGHTS?
A flopping Brett Maher was relieved for the final three games in 2019. Kai Forbath assumed the role converting all 10 field goal attempts, and all 10 extra points. While Forbath may contend for the job in 2020, he’s an unrestricted free agent.
Tristan Vizcaino is the only kicker Dallas currently hold the rights to (reserve/future contract). He started only one season at the University of Washington. Let’s just say 12-20 (60%) career college numbers is not very encouraging.
PUNTER IS FAR FROM MONEY
Longtime Cowboys punter Chris Jones is under contract through 2021. With a hefty 2020 cap hit of $2.4 million, Jones’ performance is badly lacking. His net punting average of 37.7 yards last season ranked 30th of punters with over 45 attempts.
Jones also ranked 30th in punts downed inside the 20 with 18. His inside the 20 percentage of 36% placed him 21st. Jones has the 10th highest cap hit next season while his recent production is vastly inferior to several less expensive punters.
LONG SNAPPING LEGEND CONTINUES?
L.P. Ladouceur is a Pro Bowler and Cowboys long snapping legend. He’s also an unrestricted free agent set to enter his 16th season. After spending 15 seasons in Dallas, it’s all but guaranteed he’d stay put if he continues to play.
With a massive overhaul in the coaching staff from top to bottom, one wonders if L.P. will opt to finally hang up the cleats. While long snapping is not as physically unforgiving as most positions, 15 years is a long time in the league.
It’s likely Ladouceur will continue on chasing a ring with his teammates under the new regime. Though it wouldn’t be outlandish if he rode off into the sunset at this juncture.