As the Cowboys shift from free agency to the draft, let's focus on players who are under contract, with a look back to last year but still focusing on their role for the 2023 season. Today, we'll continue the series with punter Bryan Anger.
What Worked: Anger posted his first career Pro Bowl worthy season with the Cowboys in 2021 during his first year in Dallas and followed that up last season with a year that was almost better in some ways. He boomed the longest punt of his career and the longest one by any punter in the NFL in 2022 with an 83-yarder, while mirroring his yards per punt average from the prior season at 48.8 yards. His ability to pin opponents inside the 20-yard line increased to its highest total since 2019 at 39.7% as well.
Needs Some Work: Few punters have been as consistent as Anger has been during his two years with the Cowboys. He was a big part of a fairly strong special teams unit under coordinator John Fassel despite seeing opponents return 280 yards worth of punts, the most Anger has seen since the 2018 season. The argument could be made that some of that was out of Anger's control and was frankly the only real blemish on an otherwise really strong season.
His Best Work: There isn't much that is going to top an 83-yard punt when it comes to Anger's best work in 2022. He accomplished the feat in Week 8 against the Bears late in the fourth quarter in what was only his second punt of an eventual 49-29 win for the Cowboys but fell just short of the franchise record set by Ron Widby at 84 yards. The next closest punt in terms of distance compared to Anger's was Corey Bojorquez of the Browns at 76 yards.
Contract Consideration: Anger is slated to make $2.2 million in base salary in 2023 with a cap number of $3 million after signing a 3-year deal prior to last season worth $9 million. He's guaranteed to make $1.2 million this season during his age-35 season before rounding out the contract after the 2024 season.
What's Next: The Cowboys will have a reworked special teams unit in 2023, with kicker Brett Maher not expected to be back and long snapper Trent Sieg being signed away from the Raiders to replace Matt Overton. Nonetheless, Anger is expected to be back in the fold at the punter position for his third year in Dallas with the expectation that he continues his strong stretch with the Cowboys. He also has an important role as the place-holder for field goals and extra points for a kicker that will likely be new to the Cowboys in 2023.
"From Thursday's First-Round party to Friday's Live Music and a Saturday 5K run, celebrate the NFL Draft with us. Join us for Draft Weekend presented by Miller Lite, April 27-29, at The Star in Frisco"