The Cowboys moved on from veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein after he missed six field goals and six PATs in 2021, his second with the team. The only kicker on Dallas’ roster currently is undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay.
The Cowboys surely will bring in competition at some point, probably before training camp begins late next month. Chris Naggar, whom the team released this spring, could return, or the Cowboys could sign one of the kickers from the USFL when that season is done.
Garibay made the longest field goal in the FBS last season, making a 62-yarder for Texas Tech to beat Iowa State. He made 15 of his 16 field goal attempts in 2021 in earning first-team All-Big 12.
In 2020, Garibay made 8-of-11 tries.
“You can definitely get a feel for his ability,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “He’s off to a good start. He’s just young.”
Dan Bailey won the Cowboys’ kicking job in 2011 as an undrafted free agent and at one point was the most accurate kicker in NFL history. The Cowboys are hoping for the same from Garibay, but they also are scouting other options just in case.
“It means that they expect a lot from me,” Garibay said. “At the end of the day, I expect a lot from myself. . . . It’s a lot of mental. It’s mainly mental. There’s a lot of great guys out there that have the strength; that are really good kickers; that have power and accuracy. Just sometimes it’s a mental thing. It’s 99 percent mental and the other 1 percent is probably mental, too.
“I think there is a high expectation, and I’m just trying to do like I’ve always done — focus on myself, not focus on the competition, and take it one kick at a time. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have — one for one all the time.”