Officials wouldn’t let Cowboys use white blade of grass for sightline for kicks

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Brett Maher missed only three extra points in the regular season, going 50-of-53. Two of those were blocks. In Monday’s victory over the Bucs, the Cowboys kicker missed an NFL record four extra points.

Cowboys special teams coach John Fassel had some possible explanations for his kicker’s terrible, horrible no good, very bad day.

Two of the team’s three kicking balls were lost in the crowd after extra-point misses, and the Cowboys’ hold procedure was interrupted when an official prohibited the use of white grass blades being as a sightline.

Officials were told last week to watch for kickers and holders using a foreign object during kick attempts.

All season, Cowboys holder Bryan Anger has plucked a blade of turf that is painted white and sets it down as a sightline to ensure he sets the football at Maher’s preferred spot. Before the second attempt, an official ruled Anger could not use the grass blade as a tool.

The official told Anger that rules prohibit “foreign objects” to be used as a spot.

“I hadn’t seen any memo or discussion about it,” Fassel said, via Nick Eatman of the team website. “I didn’t even know about it until our holder came up to tell me what happened. Supposedly, it was emphasized all season, but it’s never been brought up to me my whole career. It’s not an excuse by any means, just very unique to have that happened.”

Fassel used the word “yips” to describe Maher’s off night and has told the kicker to forget “the bad day at the office.”

“I don’t think it was anything physical with Brett,” Fassel said. “We will continue to work. We had a great conversation about it. I said ‘let’s not pretend it didn’t happen.’ But we have a plan, and we’ll go through it this week. I expect football karma to kick in.”

23 responses to “Officials wouldn’t let Cowboys use white blade of grass for sightline for kicks

  1. Ahh, so it’s the holder’s fault, like in Ace Ventura! But instead of “laces out!” it’s “grass down!”

  2. How is a white blade of grass a foreign object, it came from the field and would have remained on the field, not like it was flown in from jabip….ridiculous…next time, pull a clump out…or is the remaining dirt a foreign object. Jeez…

  3. If officials rule a blade of grass from the field as a foreign object; how are they not also ruling the holder’s finger as a foreign object? That ruling makes no sense. That said; if a spot needs to be THAT precise that being off by the width of a blade of grass causes a miss; then there definitely is something wrong with your kicker.

  4. 1) a blade of grass is not a “foreign object” any more than the wind streamers at the top of the goalposts are.
    2) What do they use on artificial turf fields, like the one at Jerryworld, where they play half of their games?

  5. Man this rule/point of emphasis made it sound like they were bringing in their own kicking tees or something. Is a blade of grass from the field really a foreign object?

  6. As he kept shanking those wide right my buddy started yelling “Laces out Dan!” at the TV.

    Apparently it was the holder after all, not the yips.

  7. In what universe is a piece of grass FROM THE SAME FIELD a “foreign object?”
    The officials in this league are a mess and this game is quickly becoming seen as rigged as wrestling as consumer confidence in the league languishes.

  8. Blade of grass plucked from the field that’s being played on is “foreign “? Foreign to WHAT?

  9. I had forgotten about special “kicking balls”.No wonder those kickers are so touchy.They should have outlawed kicking balls before moving the extra point back and might want to look at getting rid of them altogether next year to make FGs harder.Until then Maher could wade into the SF crowd to retrieve his balls like a golfer into a pond.

  10. He’s still a better kicker than 99.9999999% of the population, so if you want to cut him, I would ask the Amy Trask question- “And do what?”

  11. What about Tom Dempsey and his blunt toe kicking shoe from 1/2 of a foot birth defect (along with a shrunken lower arm and hand)? Is the nfl going to disqualify and remove his records sch as 63 yd outdoor field goal (not in denver)?

  12. Time to tear down the entire NFL rulebook and have a council of intelligent people who also have common sense rebuild it from page one. The book could be about half its current length if the nonsensical rules, such as this one, are eliminated. And while you’re at it, set up a system of fines that makes a lick of sense.

  13. It may be the same material as the rest of the grass (except for being white, not green) but when you put it in a different place and use it for a different purpose, it becomes a foreign object.

    The teams tried to split hairs and the NFL split them further

  14. Kind of like when a pitcher “gets noticed” snotting the ball and that sinker all of sudden stops sinking. What ever the refs took away, guessing their definition is much different than Anger’s, must have been a major crutch for that kicker.

  15. It is not a foreign object even if it has paint on it. It is grass from the field of play and about 70% of holders do the same thing. They started enforcing this idiotic rule because Denver complained about the Raiders and using things more than grass and got told to stop. The the Raiders (Josh) complained about anyone being allowed to use anything on any type of kick. That is the history of it.

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