Cowboys' Jerry Jones Still Believes in Greg Zuerlein 'Long Term' Despite Missed FGs

Adam WellsSeptember 10, 2021

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) kicks a field goal as punter Hunter Niswander (1) holds during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Greg Zuerlein's rough start to the 2021 season doesn't appear to have impacted his standing with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Appearing on the K&C Masterpiece show on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he still believes in Zuerlein "long term" as the team's primary kicker. 

“I think we paid a price in this first opening game," Jones explained. "I believe in him long term, and I believe he’ll play better as we get into the season.”

Zuerlein missed a total of three kicks, including an extra point, in Thursday's 31-29 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His first missed field goal was pulled to the right from 31 yards out. 

"If I do my job, we win that game," Zuerlein told reporters. "So I feel bad for the guys in there that played their ass off and I didn't hold up my end of the deal."

Last season marked Zuerlein's first year with the Cowboys after signing a three-year deal as a free agent. He ranked third in field goals made (34) and first in attempts (41), but his 82.9 percent success rate was only 17th out of 31 qualified kickers. 

Most of Zuerlein's misses last year were from at least 50 yards out. He went 3-of-9 on those attempts, compared to 31-of-32 from within 49 yards. 

The 2020 campaign was bounce back for Zuerlein. The 33-year-old made a career-low 72.7 percent of his field-goal attempts with the Los Angeles Rams two years ago. 

Zuerlein was about the only problem for the Cowboys offense in the season-opening loss. It put up 451 yards and 29 points against a Buccaneers defense that ranked sixth in yards allowed and eighth in points allowed in 2020.