Jonathan Garibay disappoints, and the Cowboys need a kicker with

With just over a month to go before the regular season begins, there are many questions in Dallas regarding the kicking position. On paper, the Cowboys seemed to have it all figured out by pitting undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay against former CFL player Lirim Hajrullahu. It was even taken for granted that Garibay would be the one to win the duel for ownership.

However, after several field goal drills during training camp, the reality is different: neither is convincing.

On the one hand, Jonathan Garibay’s performance at Oxnard has been truly disappointing. The Texas Tech product has only made 27 of 52 field goals (51.9% overall). Saturday’s practice was no exception, hitting just four of his nine attempts. Even Marshal Dak Prescott witnessed one of his failures, even when he was rallying the public to support Garibay.

However, the straw that broke the camel’s back came in an extra point attempt. Garibay also missed, kicking in such a way that the ball didn’t even reach the goal post. This immediately went viral on social media, drawing criticism from Dallas fans.

On the other hand, Lirim Hajrullahu has been the clear winner so far in the competition for the kicker spot. And although his numbers are much better than Garibay’s, they aren’t entirely convincing either. The former CFL has hit 42 of his 51 attempts in camp, this for an effectiveness of 82.4%.

Besides, Hajrullahu outscored Garibay in almost every field goal session except one: last Tuesday. That particular day the wind affected the performance of both kickers. Hardest hit was Hajrullahu, hitting just 4 of 11 attempts. Meanwhile, Garibay was 6 of 11 that day.

Seeing his numbers, Hajrullahu is already emerging as the clear winner in this duel for the position of kicker. However, his performance does not ensure peace of mind.

What options does Dallas have right now?

It’s true that both Lirim Hajrullahu and Jonathan Garibay are kickers in need of development due to their lack of experience at the NFL level. However, the Cowboys may be being too patient. In fact, the best thing they could do right now is add a more experienced kicker to the competition sooner rather than later. Which, given the current situation, would imply cutting Garibay.

However, we return to the same situation raised since before the Draft: there are very few options in free agency.

In theory, the best option available right now is Michael Badgley, known in the NFL as “The Money Badger.” In 2018, his first professional season, he shot 93.8% on field goals with the Chargers. He even kicked the longest field goal of his career that year, 59 yards. However, his performance declined in the following two seasons.

In the 2021 season, which began with the Tennessee Titans, Badgley was released after Week 1 for missing a field goal and an extra point against the Cardinals. Weeks later he was signed by the Colts, where he became the starter after Rodrigo Blankenship’s injury. In Indianapolis, “The Money Badger” achieved an effectiveness of 100% in extra points (39 of 39), and 85.7% in field goals (18 hits in 21 attempts).

However, Badgley’s overall effectiveness raises questions. Since the 2020 season, the former Chargers is the third kicker with the most combined extra point and field goal failures. And while he has a powerful leg, he has also been inefficient from long range. In fact, he has only made three of 10 attempts of 50 yards or more in his four years in the NFL.

Aside from Badgley, there are no other free-agent options that can offer guarantees. In such a case, the Cowboys would have to look to other leagues like the USFL or CFL for options. Or, be aware of those who do not enter the 53 rosters of other teams.

Either way, the Cowboys’ front office needs to act as soon as possible. At the very least, they must bring in someone who will compete with Lirim Hajrullahu for the starting job, thus ruling out Garibay. Otherwise, Dallas may have more headaches this year than it did with Greg Zuerlein in 2021.

We want to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this incredible content

Jonathan Garibay disappoints, and the Cowboys need a kicker with