The Dallas Cowboys reportedly reached a one-year deal with veteran punter Bryan Anger. The move comes after an unusually active period in free agency for Dallas that often focused on addressing special teams.
The 32-year old has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Houston Texans. Last season he averaged 46.4 yards per punt while pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line roughly 35 percent of the time. Both of those numbers are right in line with his career averages during his nine seasons in the league.
Anger will join a Dallas team that recently announced it would be parting ways with its long-time punter Chris Jones. However, the former Texan will seemingly have to compete for the starting job with punter Hunter Niswander who took over punting duties for the team after Jones was placed on the injured reserve in early November last year.
Niswander, a former XFL player, played well for America’s Team in Jones’s absence. The 26-year old managed to finish the year with an impressive 47.2 yards per punt while pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line roughly 38 percent of the time.
Given Niswander’s performance last season the decision to bring in Anger might seem strange. Perhaps the move is an indication that the organization is not fully confident in Niswander’s ability to be a long-term solution at the position moving forward, even with his impressive performance last season.
The Dallas Cowboys bring in a solid veteran player in Bryan Anger. The move potentially sheds light on the teams’ thinking about punter Hunter Niswander and will likely lead to a lively competition for the role of starting punter. However, the move should also be viewed as another indication of the teams’ dedication to having the best special teams’ unit possible.
Hopefully, the move encourages healthy competition between two competent players at the punter position, and may the best punter win.