Why is Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy so confident in Greg Zuerlein?

Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

It’s no surprise that Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein is among the game’s most inconsistent options. He has missed the most extra-point attempts from any kicker in the NFC playoff picture (including yet another in Week 18) and he’s only 40% on kicks of 50 or more yards this season. His missed field goal against the Arizona Cardinals could have helped them win the game. That’s not the kind of inconsistency you want at any position on your roster, let alone one that’s constantly in the spotlight.

But, somehow, the Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy seems to have a lot of confidence in the kicker despite his many errors. On the Wednesday of Week 18, McCarthy reassured local reporters that Zuerlein “can make all the kicks.”

Are we watching the same kicker, Mike?! This guy has left 23 points off the board with five missed XPs and six missed field goals. He literally can’t make all the kicks.

I know you’re all going to say, “Of course, a coach has to speak highly of his players! He has to have confidence in his team.” But that hasn’t stopped others in the organization from speaking up about Zuerlein and his boom or bust nature.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy doubles down in his blind confidence in Greg Zuerlein on Monday

Even special teams coach John Fassel is trying to look for excuses for Zuerlein’s lack of production. Last week, Fassel said a surgery in May is likely the reason for Zuerlein’s struggles.

If people in the organization thought this surgery was going to keep the kicker from making kicks, why didn’t they release him? Or, at the very least, sign someone else over the last couple of weeks.

Jerry Jones doesn’t seem very confident in his kicker, either, approaching the postseason. The Cowboys owner went on the radio last Monday to brilliantly (sarcasm) say that “the most important part of a kicker is consistency.” Exactly!

On three separate occasions, the Cowboys signed and released Lirim Hajrullahu, who is currently with the Carolina Panthers. I guess the idea was just to taunt Zuerlein since they never kept Hajrullahu on the squad.

You’d figure after yet another missed extra-point kick from Zuerlein, McCarthy would change his mind this week. But, nope! McCarthy doubled down on his faith in the kicker saying he is a “pro from every angle” **insert meme of Nick Young with all the question marks around his head**

At this point, it’s just too late. Despite Zuerlein’s inconsistency, it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys are going to have more faith in someone they bring in the week of the playoffs. They’re stuck with Zuerlein.

The kicker has had shining moments. But those seem to be heavily overshadowed by clear misses and several almost-misses. Let’s hope he gets back to his game-saving ways come postseason time.