You might have noticed that the Cowboys’ mainstay punter Mat McBriar was absent from the team’s season-ending, 31-14 loss to the Giants on Sunday night. This was because the day before, McBriar had been placed on injured reserve by the team, prematurely (though barely as it would turn out) ending his season and leaving Chris Jones to punt against the Giants.
As one might guess, this wasn’t, and isn’t, a good sign for McBriar’s health. The abilities of the two-time Pro Bowl punter are generally unquestioned--but he struggled with a case of drop foot, the result of some nerve damage, in his plant foot for most of the year. That he has yet to recover presents an interesting question not just to McBriar, but the Cowboys as well--because as of last Sunday night, McBriar is a free agent.
"I mean, look to be honest I felt like I didn’t feel myself out there," McBriar said this week, per ESPN Dallas. "I didn’t feel like I was giving us an advantage at all. I really thought I was a hindrance that’s what made me change my thought process, I went from being a guy who was helping the team out to going the other way around."
To be sure, McBriar knows that one’s contract year isn’t the best time to suffer such a nagging, and kind of strange, injury--and that such an injury could term a long-term offer from Dallas into a short one.
"It's not the greatest of timing but I'm just really looking for it coming back to what it was, that’s my only thought right now," McBriar said. "I get healthy and we’ll see what happens."
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