This season, most of the attention has been given to Cooper Rush’s performance in the offense and Micah Parsons’ strong start for the defense. The forgotten story of the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 has been the special teams and how they have performed through three games.
Playing a game that is all about every yard counting, the Cowboys’ special teams have certainly done the job and helped the offense, especially dealing with a backup quarterback running the show. Everyone on the team has had to step up in some capacity to take the pressure off the offense. The defense has done that with their front seven and special teams have done it with points and field position.
Brett Maher, Cowboys Kicker
What a journey it has been for Brett Maher as he makes his third stint with the Dallas Cowboys, and he is making the most of it. Maher was on the roster back in 2013 with their practice squad, but not stepping on the field. He became the Cowboys’ starting kicker in 2018 and 2019 where he was known for being able to convert on long field goals hitting 62- and 63-yard field goals in those two seasons.
One lingering question would be his accuracy as it was a flaw in his game until New Orleans where he connected on almost 89% of his kicks. Starting the season out, he has converted on six of seven field goals with a long of 54 yards and hasn’t missed an extra point. Maher’s strong leg also has led to Dallas tied for the league lead in opponent kickoff return yards allowed with 0.
Now it’s all about staying consistent in his approach and making sure the Cowboys don’t lose out on opportunities to get points. All signs point to Maher being able to accomplish that and more for the team. Expect to see some long-field goals being converted before the end of the year.
Bryan Anger, Cowboys Punter
One of the most underrated signings of the offseason for the Cowboys was to bring in Bryan Anger on a one-year contract. In his first season with the Cowboys, Anger made an immediate impact on the position as he was considered one of the best punters in the NFL. That landed him a Pro Bowl appearance as well as a spot as a Second-Team All-Pro selection for the 2021 season.
It has already been a solid start to the season for Anger. Through three games, he is averaging 46.4 yards per punt on 14 total punts. He also is tied for third in the NFL in punts inside the 20-yard line with 8 on the season.
While he is not on pace for the same numbers, he put up last season, he has still proven to be a key weapon for the Cowboys. He has set the defense up with success due to poor field position for the opposing offense on multiple occasions. That will continue to be a key to the Cowboys winning games and help the defense continue to have an elite season.
KaVontae Turpin, Cowboys Return Specialist
The preseason darling last month has been able to make a significant difference in the return game early on. KaVontae Turpin’s journey is one that had him make multiple stops including playing in Poland, arena football, and this spring/summer with the USFL. Turpin’s MVP performance in the USFL landed him a chance to make the Cowboys’ roster. He made the most of it with a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers in preseason earning his spot on the 53-man roster.
Turpin has made he way onto the field on offense mostly as a decoy, but most of his work comes in the return game. So far this season, he has returned five kickoffs for 101 yards for an average of 20.2 yards per return. He also has returned four punts for 65 yards for an average of 16.3 yards per return. His biggest contribution came in the fourth quarter of the 23-16 win over the New York Giants Monday night where he got a punt return for 28 yards that led to a Maher field goal to give them a ten-point lead.
Fans are clamoring and waiting in anticipation for Turpin to bust out a massive return for a touchdown. A few times this year the team has seen his electric speed and almost breaking off a big yardage return. It’s only a matter of time before fans will see him celebrate in the end zone for a touchdown.