Report: Cowboys’ McBriar to have surgery

Cowboys punter Mat McBriar is finally able to get at the root cause of the foot problem that plagued him last season.

McBriar will have surgery next week to dissolve a cyst below his left knee that had been cause nerve damage in his leg and foot, he told dallascowboys.com.

“It was exciting to find out there’s a real cause to it now,” McBriar told the online publication. “To know there is a way to remedy that . . . the future looks bright. It’s really the best news I could get.”

McBriar, a native of Australia, is in Indianapolis this week where he will serve as a Super Bowl reporter for an Australian sports network.

Two days after the game, he will have surgery at the Mayo Clinic to get rid of the cyst that had been pressing on nerves and causing him to experience drop foot.

McBriar missed the Seattle game Nov. 6 with the foot issue and was finally placed on injured reserve before the final game of the season. Rookie Chris Jones filled in for McBriar both times.

Until last season’s problems, McBriar had been one of the NFL’s elite punters. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 with a 48.2 average and again in 2010 with a 47.9 average.

Last season his average dipped to 43.8.

The surgery comes at a critical time for McBriar, who will be an unrestricted free agent this spring. He told dallascowboys.com he wishes to remain a Cowboy, although he can’t resume punting until he’s spent a month doing rehab work after the operation.

“I would love that,” McBriar said of returning to Dallas. “That’s my goal. But right now, I have to focus on getting healthy and then we’ll see how it goes.”

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire