Dallas Cowboys sign potential Greg Zuerlein replacement
The Dallas Cowboys have signed a new kicker to the roster, creating some competition for 34-year-old Greg Zuerlein. America’s Team signed Chris Naggar to a Reserve/Future contract on Feb 4. The 24-year-old is a Texas native and made a name for himself at Arlington High School, which is just three miles from AT&T Stadium.
Naggar began his collegiate career with the Texas Longhorns before transferring to SMU. At SMU, Naggar provided great versatility serving as both kicker and punter. With the Mustangs, he made 17 of 21 field goals and 43 of 46 extra-point kicks. The 24-year-old even went viral in 2019 for making a 71-yard field goal, although he did admit the wind helped a bit.
The Texas native began his pro career in 2021 as an undrafted free agent signing with the New York Jets. His time in New York was very short lived, and he was then signed to the Cleveland Browns practice squad. Naggar appeared in one game fro the Browns in which he made his only field goal attempt and went one for two on extra point attempts.
Now, the kicker has a chance to earn a full-time spot with the team he grew up with. After a tumultuous season from the current Cowboys kicker, the front office probably hopes Naggar will give Zuerlein a reason to earn his spot.
Will Cowboys signee Chris Naggar be able to replace Greg Zuerlein? How would cutting Zuerlein affect the Cowboys cap space?
If you’re a Cowboys fan, you are all too familiar with holding your breath every time Zuerlein lines up to kick an extra point or field goal. The former Los Angeles Rams standout and Pro Bowl kicker was highly inconsistent this year. He missed two kicks in the 40-yard range as well as three from over 50 yards. Perhaps more frustrating was his six missed extra point kicks – a part of the game which should be a no brainer for a veteran.
Although Zuerlein ended the season strong making his field goal and both extra-point attempts in the final game of the year, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was vocal about his frustration with Zuerlein. In early January, Jones said that the “most important part of a kicker is consistency and not consistently missing.” Welp, that’s the exact opposite of what Zuerlein delivered.
Obviously Naggar isn’t a slam dunk sign. He’s only appeared in one NFL game and has already made trips around the league. But, if nothing else, his presence can light a fire under Zuerlein. Naggar’s versatility as a punter and kicker could also be helpful if the Cowboys are unable to retain free agent punter Bryan Anger (or if Dallas keeps Anger and he gets injured).
Another important note is that Zuerlein is entering the final year of a $7.5 million contract in 2022. If Dallas releases him, they can save $2.48 million towards their struggling cap space. According to OverTheCap.com, they would only have to dish out $333,334 to dead cap. Any chance at saving money for the team sitting third-worst in cap space is worth noting.