FRISCO, Texas – And then there was one.
For all the uncertainty that swirled around the Cowboys' kicking competition during training camp, the team finally created some clarity on Monday. At least for the time being.
With Liram Hajrullahu being waived as part of an effort to cut the roster down to 80 players, Brett Maher finds himself as the lone kicker on a team that has been searching for an answer at the position for the better part of the offseason.
Though in Maher's eyes, it changes nothing for him.
"My process and my mindset stays the same," Maher said. "I've got to continue to focus on every single day and every single week and just try to stack those together because this league is so volatile lessons along the way, I need to make sure I stay in my zone do what I need to do."
But as he laid out, he knows all too well just how volatile his position is and that business is business at the end of the day, so there would be no point in getting too high or too low when it came to Monday's news.
"You never really know, to be honest with you," Maher said of his emotions on the situation. "And like I said before, my plan for the week doesn't change. So yeah, it's about making kicks. That's what it always has been about. That's where it will always be."
The 32-year-old veteran has been around in his NFL career that began in 2013, but like any other player worth their salt Maher has consistently worked on every aspect of his craft. That includes this offseason where Maher said he worked on not just the physical aspect of his game, but the mental side as well.
"They're always little things to work on, or lessons that you've learned along the way," Maher said. "And hopefully, I'm better now than I was two years ago and better now than I was last year. And hopefully, in two, three, four, or five years, I'll be better than I am now. So just to continue that constant progress and chase for what my standard is."
It's not unfamiliar territory that Maher finds himself in after all. After bouncing around between the CFL and NFL, Dallas brought him in during training camp back in 2018 to supplement Dan Bailey and ultimately took the job while Bailey was cut. In 2019, Maher struggled to make only 66.7% of his field goal attempts before he was replaced by Kai Forbath.
Since then, he has been a man without a steady team, shuffling between the Jets, Commanders, Texans, Cardinals, and Saints where he had an extended run before battling injury.
When asked what it meant to have the Dallas' coaching staff's trust, Maher gave what could only be characterized as a business-like response.
"Yeah, that's always a good feeling," Maher said. "That doesn't change what needs to be done going forward. But that's definitely a good feeling right now."
Safe to assume Maher knows the reality of his profession. But is there anything the journeyman from Nebraska can learn after as he enters his 10thyear in professional football?
"Not really because there's always something that comes up that is new," Maher said. "And when that happens, you've got to be able to be aware of new stuff that goes around or that goes on and be able to adapt and learn from that to learn a lesson. So having some awareness with that but there's always something that that comes up that wasn't necessarily on your radar."