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NFL controversy of ‘cheating’ causing kicker confusion


The NFL is cracking down on kickers using “foreign objects” to line up their kicks, something that has at all times been illegal but players have gotten away with as a consequence of loose officiating. But it surely seems not everyone involved was aware of the rule change – until it was being enforced in real time.

John Fassel, special teams coordinator for the Cowboys, told the team’s official website that he hadn’t been told of the crackdown – and that Bryan Anger, the holder for kicker Brett Maher, was warned mid-game within the wild-card matchup win over the Buccaneers about using a blade of grass to mark the spot on the sector where he placed the ball.

The warning got here after Maher’s first extra point attempt, a miss. Coincidentally, he went on to have the worst game of his profession, missing 4 extra points in a row before finally hitting one.

“I hadn’t seen any memo or discussion about it,” Fassel said. “I didn’t even find out about it until our holder got here up to inform me what happened. Supposedly, it was emphasized all season but it surely’s never been brought as much as me my whole profession.”

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher and punter Bryan AngerGetty Images

Fassel reaffirmed that it wasn’t “an excuse by any means” for Maher’s miserable outing, the primary time in NFL history a kicker has missed 4 extra points in the identical game.

“Just very unique to have that happened,” the coach said.

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott found himself in a little bit of controversy after being accused of “cheating” through the use of an object to line up his kicks. Nevertheless, he too has insisted that it has never been enforced throughout his profession.

“We’ve at all times used something that’s inside the foundations,” Elliott said to NJ.com. “It’s just literally to mark the spot. It’s a part of the playing surface, like a chunk of grass or something like that.”

Eagles kicker Jake ElliottEagles kicker Jake ElliottGetty Images

Based on Football Zebras, which originally reported the crackdown, the Chiefs, Lions and Commanders had all been breaking the rule.

It stays to be seen if the rule “change” can have any impact on the eight teams remaining within the NFL playoffs. Dallas signed one other kicker, former Charger and 49er Tristan Vizcaino, to its practice squad ahead of their Sunday game against the 49ers.

Elliott and the Eagles face the Giants on Saturday night within the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

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