IRVING, Texas -When the Cowboys travel to Philadelphia this Sunday to play the Eagles they will face off against one of the most accomplished former Cowboys in franchise history.
Mat McBriar played eight seasons in Dallas and recorded 494 punts for more than 22,000 yards, his average of 45.3 yards per punt ranking fifth in NFL history. But last offseason, the Cowboys chose to go in a different direction.
When McBriar missed a few games with a foot injury in 2011, the Cowboys liked what they saw from the young Chris Jones. After McBriar, a free agent, had surgery in the offseason, he came in to have a workout with Dallas. While the Cowboys liked what they saw from the recovered McBriar, they were honest with him. They still liked the potential of Jones.
When McBriar was told that he would have to compete with Jones for the starting punter spot, he decided to take his leg to division-rival Philadelphia where he felt that he would be their primary punter.
Ironically, the Eagles released McBriar during their final roster cuts in training camp because they felt he was still not 100 percent healthy. They decided, instead, to go with Chas Henry.
But after a few inconsistent performances by Henry, the Eagles decided to re-sign McBriar to a two-year contract.
In 20 attempts this season, McBriar has averaged 48.2 yards per punt and he has landed six of them inside of the opponent's 20-yard line.
In another slightly ironic twist, Dallas will once again not be fielding the punter who they chose to replace McBriar, Jones having been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Cowboys will continue to call upon the service of the best punter in Buffalo Bills history, Brian Moorman.
In 30 attempts this season, Moorman has averaged 44.6 yards per punt and has been able to land an impressive 12 punts inside of the opponent's 20-yard line.