Mac Engel

Cowboys don’t have a kicker; Jerry should give Carli Lloyd a tryout

You know he wants to do this, but of the many bold, headline swipes Jerry Jones has made the following may be beyond his comfort zone.

Asking a girl to play on his football team.

He needs a kicker because the one he has his coaches cannot trust.

Of the kickers on the street, there is one who would generate a buzz the NFL has never experienced.

Carli Lloyd merits a look, and it’s not exactly shtick even though when this does happen by an NFL team it will be dismissed as one.

Jerry, you don’t have to sign her but you may as well give her a tryout. It will generate the attention you crave, and it may just give you a kicker you need.

The Cowboys can’t go with Brett Maher much longer.

Lloyd is the the forward from the United States women’s national soccer team who drilled a few 55-yard field goals in a joint practice between the Ravens and Eagles in August. She said she actually had some offers from multiple teams for a real tryout during the preseason but could not accept because of her schedule with the USWNT.

The video of her drilling long kicks remains intriguing.

There are examples of women kicking for high school and college teams, including one for Fort Worth Paschal High School. Only none of those examples include the highest end female athlete with a powerful leg and long resume. Because no one of the caliber of Lloyd has tried.

Nothing is stopping the Cowboys from giving her a look. Right now.

After all, unlike the rest of her teammates, at least she can look at them knowing what it takes to win a big game or two.

THE DALLAS COWBOYS NEED A KICKER

Brett Maher missed both of his field goal attempts in the Cowboys’ 34-24 loss on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

“Just, I felt like I was late coming through it. The bottom line is why I am here is to make both of those kicks,” Maher said. “It stings and I feel like I let the team down.”

He is 4-for-7 this season.

The Cowboys can’t trust him. They don’t trust him.

He said he’s not sweating if the Cowboys look for his replacement. Which they likely are.

“Not at all,” he said. “I’m on to the next kick.”

Maher was a surprise make to the roster out of training camp last season when they cut veteran Pro Bowler Dan Bailey. The Cowboys liked Maher because he has a big leg, and they didn’t like Bailey’s contract; Maher was 29-of-36 last season.

In ‘19 training camp practices, however, he was erratic. During preseason games, he was 5-of-7.

Now that the season is here and barely .500 on kicks after five games merits a hard look at an upgrade.

Any reliable kicker is on an NFL roster.

At this point, if you’re held hostage by an erratic kicker, you’re merely hoping you get lucky and find a guy on a good streak. Anyone kicker signed off the street is not someone you trust.

You’re dumping your guy because you’re sick of him burning you.

THE CARLI LLOYD CHALLENGES

Lloyd conceded in an interview with the NFL Network back in August that kicking while wearing pads is something that would require work. She would have to prepare for this sort of transition.

What she does have is the leg, the technique, and her experience in World Cup games is evidence she’s not afraid of a stage.

The timing of signing her right now is almost unfeasible; the offseason makes more sense. It would give her time to adjust to all of it, and see if she can actually do this.

This stage would be unlike anything the NFL has ever seen. The college game has seen it, but not the NFL.

The PGA Tour saw it when the LPGA Tour’s best player, Annika Sorenstam, was simply overwhelmed by the attention and finished near the bottom of the field in the 2003 Colonial.

Kicking is akin to golf; kickers live 10 miles into their own head, and their confidence is as stable as a pond. Too many misses and their toast.

And Lloyd, 37, would have to prove she has the leg strength to do this job. Unless she is 98 percent accurate from 45 yards, she has to be able to clear the crossbar from 58 yards. The coach needs the threat of that kick.

Would an NFL locker room welcome a woman?

The Dallas Cowboys were one of the two NFL teams to sign Missouri defensive end Michael Sam after he came out of the closet and admitted he was a homosexual before the ‘14 NFL Draft. Sam was briefly a member of the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2014, and was released without ever making the active roster.

Sam reportedly was signed by Jones and the Cowboys as a favor to the NFL. He was a story because he was gay, but his career as a pro football player never materialized.

Is the NFL any more ready today for a homosexual player than it was when Michael Sam gave it a try?

Put it this way: an NFL locker room would be more welcoming of Carli Lloyd than Michael Sam.

Women have been added as assistant coaches to NFL teams; Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians named a woman as the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach, and another as an assistant defensive line coach.

Jerry is wee bit of traditionalist when it comes to gender roles. He is also a capitalist above every other trait who recognizes, as he has said before, “the time that we’re in.”

We’re in the right time, and the Cowboys do not have a kicker.

The timing is not idea, but give Carli Lloyd a look.

Now, about Megan Rapinoe as the head coach ...

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
Support my work with a digital subscription
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
  Comments