Cowboys Rumors: Dallas spurned trade offer for budding AFC kicker

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Chargers v Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Chargers v Jacksonville Jaguars / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys still don't have a starting kicker for the 2023 season.

Tristan Vizcaino is currently the only kicker on the roster after he re-signed with the team this offseason. Vizcaino initially was signed during the playoffs as an emergency option after Brett Maher missed an NFL record four extra points in Dallas' Wild card win over the Buccaneers.

While Vizcaino has looked strong during OTAs, it's impossible to replicate a game atmosphere with minimal contact and no pads allowed. Further, the 26-year-old has attempted just 12 field goals in his career, including 20 extra points.

It's unclear what the Cowboys are looking for in their next kicker. The Broncos released Brandon McManus a few weeks ago and fans' cries to sign the former Super Bowl champ went unheard as he promptly signed with the Jaguars.

That made now-former Jags kicker Riley Patterson expendable. Before Jacksonville released Patterson, they traded him to the Lions for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2026.

Before the Jaguars and Lions worked out their agreement, though, the former offered Patterson to the Cowboys, per ESPN's Todd Archer.

Jaguars called the Cowboys about a trade for Riley Patterson

The Cowboys clearly have their eyes on someone else.

That's fine, but it's worth mentioning Patterson is a talented young kicker who excelled in his first year as a starter in 2022. Since he entered the league two years ago, Patterson is a respectable 43-of-49 on field goals, including 2-of-4 from 50 yards or more, and 52-of-53 on extra points.

Though inexperienced, Patterson showed off his clutch gene last year. He nailed a 48-yarder in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys that helped send the game to overtime. Additionally -- and more impressive -- was his game-winning field goal as time expired to complete the Jaguars' epic comeback vs the Chargers in the playoffs.

Can Dallas do better than Patterson? Absolutely, so we'll reserve judgement on their decision to spurn the Jaguars' offer. That said, they better get someone through the door soon. The need for kickers around the league is slender, but the Cowboys technically are replacing one of the game's best from 2022.

Brett Maher statistically is the better option than Vizcaino and Patterson. One could argue Maher is the best options of all the veterans, too.

Robbie Gould is the most accurate of the options and has a flawless playoff resume, but his leg strength is gone, while Mason Crosby was 1-of-4 from 50 yards or more last year, and Ryan Succop made just 81.5% of his field goals and 2-of-7 from 50 yards or more.

The Cowboys deserve the benefit of the doubt this offseason, but we don't fault the fans who want the kicker search to be over.

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