McBriar signs
with Cowboys

The former UH punter is
on the Dallas practice squad

The job search is over for Mat McBriar, and hopefully for a while. Now he hopes to turn a temporary gig into something more lasting.

The former Hawaii punter was signed last week to the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad.

While the stand-by job pays $4,300 a week, there's no guarantee how long coach Bill Parcells will keep McBriar around, and barring injury, it's doubtful he will be promoted for the postseason.

But it figures the strong-legged Australian will get a good look for next season, since the Cowboys got less than a sterling performance from punter Toby Gowin; Dallas ranked last in the NFC with 38.6 yards per punt. Gowin is a seven-year veteran and this was the first season he averaged less than 40 yards a punt.

"He's done well in the past, so they won't give up on him right away," McBriar said in a telephone interview this week.

McBriar, who also had a tryout with the Rams on Dec. 16, worked out for the Cowboys on Dec. 19.

"I guess they were pleased with me. They called me on Sunday (Dec. 21) to let me know they had a spot for me," he said.

After averaging 42.2 yards per punt for three years at UH, McBriar went to camp as a rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos last summer. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, who cut him before the season started.

Since then, McBriar has been in San Diego, working out with his friend from Australia, Chargers punter Darren Bennett.

McBriar said offseason training starts March 1. The Cowboys kicking coach is Steve Hoffman, who has been with Dallas since 1989 and developed numerous young kickers and punters.

"He's pretty keen to getting started working with me," McBriar said.


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