Arizona Cardinals need to send aging kicker packing
The Arizona Cardinals should be considering a change at the kicker position after veteran Phil Dawson’s most recent failure
The Arizona Cardinals were confident that they had solved a problem. It was a year ago that the club had replaced shaky placekicker Chandler Catanzaro with someone who had long been one of the NFL’s best. Front offices make mistakes, however, and the sooner that management admits that Phil Dawson is one of them, the better.
The aging veteran was a huge reason that the Cardinals fell to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday. The 43-year old shanked a 45-yard field goal with under two minutes to play, wasting a gallant effort by rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Dawson had also missed a 50-yard attempt right before halftime, a boot that would’ve stretched Arizona’s lead to six points at the time.
Cards’ fans have been disappointed by Dawson before. Eleven missed kicks in 2017 had prompted general manager Steve Keim to bring in some competition for the 20-year pro. Perhaps, the executive reasoned, that someone breathing down his neck in training camp would light a fire under Dawson.
Matthew McCrane, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State University, would be that guy. When the preseason had ended, quite a few observers of the Cardinals believed that the rookie had outperformed Dawson for the job. The team opted for experience, however, and McCrane was given his walking papers.
While Dawson failed to be a hero for the Cards against the Seahawks, McCrane did the exact opposite for the new organization he has caught on with. The Oakland Raiders’ new addition sent a 29-yard field goal through the uprights in overtime, giving them a win over the Cleveland Browns. Granted, Dawson’s attempt was 16 yards longer than McCrane’s, but it’s ironic nevertheless.
It may be time for Arizona to part ways with the beleaguered placekicker. In fact, the divorce probably should’ve taken place before the season commenced. Dawson has already blown his first opportunity to shine this year, maybe the Cardinals should take away any chance of him failing at it again.