Since kicker Dan Bailey's surprising release from the Dallas Cowboys after the 2017 NFL season, the team has struggled to find a consistent leg.
Enter Jonathan Garibay, an undrafted free agent signed by the Cowboys after the 2022 NFL Draft.
“It’s amazing, the opportunity that the Cowboys organization gave me,” he said. “I’m just trying to do the best with it and run.”
The Texas Tech star kicker burst onto the national scene in the 2021 college football season when he nailed a booming 62-yard field goal against Iowa State with time expiring. The kick not only set the record for the longest made field goal in Texas Tech history but would have also been tied for the fourth-longest field goal in NFL history.
Despite his sky-high ceiling as a kicker, Garibay showed remarkable consistency throughout his college career. In 2021, he made 15 of his 16 field-goal attempts (a rate of 93.75 percent) and 49 of his 50 extra-point attempts. This came as an improvement over his 2020 season, in which he only converted eight of his 11 attempts for a rate of 72.73 percent.
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Since the team released Bailey, the team seems to have been cursed with terrible kicking luck, especially in the most important moments of games. Three of the 2021 Dallas squad's five losses were by three points or less. In these three losses, 2021 Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a combined four field goals (with at least one miss in each game), and two extra points.
Dallas' current roster has no other kicker signed alongside Garibay. That's not likely to remain the circumstance, but ...
As it stands, Garibay has a clear path to becoming the next kicker for America's Team; with his leg, Cowboys fans will remain hopeful that he can once again harness the kicking magic that made Bailey one of the greatest in NFL history.
“The coaches expect a lot from me, the players. And I expect a lot from myself,” Garibay said of his short time at The Star. “I just hope I can help this team accomplish some of its goals.”