The most prolific kickers in Dallas Cowboys history are Rafael Septien, of Mexican descent, and the undrafted free agent sensation Dan Bailey.
Their next leg could, ironically, be a combo of both.
As the Cowboys work through their minicamp activities, Jonathan Garibay is the only kicker stationed on the roster. He's the heir apparent to Greg Zuerlein, who now resides with the New York Jets. The kicker's role is an important one in Dallas: the Cowboys attempted 35 field goals last season (third in the NFL) but their 83-percent success rate was fifth-worst.
Garibay is used to special teams heroics in the Lone Star State: he previously starred at Texas Tech after two seasons at Riverside City College, leading the Big 12 in conversion rate at 93.8 percent (15-of-16), setting a new program record. His game-winner against Iowa State in November proved historic, as the 62-yard boot set another Red Raider-best. For his efforts, Garibay was named a first-team All-Big 12 member.
Garibay left Texas Tech early to enter the NFL Draft but was not selected. Dallas scooped him up to fill the kicker's spot after they released Zuerlein in March.
“This is like a dream, something incredible,” Garibay said of his NFL opportunity. "I feel very proud to represent the Hispanic community and give a good example. If it is in God’s plan, I would feel very proud of continuing that tradition of Mexican kickers with the Cowboys."
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It's likely that the Cowboys will add a veteran leg to create a kicking competition; CowboysSI.com has written about the possibility of a "revolving door'' at the position in 2022. But Garibay is looking forward to the opportunity presented to him as the lone leg at minicamp. He once again turned to faith when asked about his chances of landing the full-time job.
“I keep my faith in God and in producing results,” he said. “I must not focus on what other team kickers are doing, who are also very good and respected. I must focus on my own job and follow the path God marks for me.”
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