<
>

Yeah, this is a Mat McBriar post

We don't ignore punters or punting on this blog. You should know this by now. It's too vital a part of the game. Think about last year's New York Giants. In an effort to create competition for Matt Dodge after his disappointing rookie season, the Giants signed Steve Weatherford, who was somehow available in spite of being one of the best punters in the league. Weatherford won the job somewhat easily and went on to be arguably the MVP of the NFC Championship Game. (He had a case in the Super Bowl, too, though I don't think it's possible for a punter to win such an award.) The juxtaposition between what Weatherford gave the Giants last year and Dodge's inability to kick the ball out of bounds in the game that killed their 2010 season is dramatic but illustrative.

Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles were paying attention. They have signed former Dallas Cowboys punter Mat McBriar, whom the Cowboys cast aside because of the foot injuries that limited him so much in 2011. Chas Henry was OK in his 2011 rookie season, but the Eagles have spied an opportunity to get better. McBriar's a two-time Pro Bowler who led the league in punting average as recently as 2010. The question about him -- and the reason he's not still a Cowboy -- is whether his foot is healthy. Andy Reid said today McBriar was "90 percent" as he continues to recover from nerve damage in his plant foot. And while a 90 percent McBriar may well be able to beat out a 100 percent Henry, the decision is likely to come down to whether McBriar can prove himself healthy and remain so.

The main reason I did this post was because Cowboys fans on my Twitter feed seem upset that McBriar would leave for a division rival. But all indications are that the Cowboys are happy with Chris Jones as their punter, and Tim MacMahon writes that after working out for Philadelphia on Monday and Dallas on Tuesday, McBriar liked the Eagles' offer better. Hey, a guy's got to eat.