It has been less than a week since the Dallas Cowboys made Lirim Hajrullahu’s return official, but the fact that it took them until we were firmly in July seems to suggest a rather obvious message. We all know how difficult it has been for the Cowboys to find consistency at the kicker position for the last few years. Gone are the clutch days of Dan Bailey, amazingly the club is entering their fourth season without him lining up for extra points and field goals.
Since Bailey’s departure, Dallas has made a go of it with the likes of Brett Maher and Greg Zuerlein. This year all signs have pointed to the same well that they originally discovered Bailey through, an undrafted free agent rookie.
It seems like a certainty that Jonathan Garibay will be the Dallas Cowboys kicker in 2022
Getting back to Hajrullahu’s return, the Cowboys did go all the way until the first week in July before bringing him back (the first action that Stephen Jones took since promising free agency wasn’t over three months prior).
In case you forgot, Hajrullahu spent one game on the team’s roster last season while Greg Zuerlein was out. It was the group’s drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons so he “only” got to attempt five extra points although he had a success rate of 100% which is something the kicker he was replacing certainly struggled to do.
Insert Jonathan Garibay. The Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent as soon as the 2022 NFL Draft ended so they effectively went about two and a half months with him as the only kicker on their roster. If that isn’t a sign that he is going to be the guy, what is?
Dallas Cowboys rookie kicker Jonathan Garibay has been getting ready for his first season in the NFL.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 12, 2022
(via @jon_garibay9 IG) pic.twitter.com/gBHO9fr6is
In bringing Hajrullahu back, the Cowboys have literally created a competition for the team’s kicker spot. Competition is of course a good thing and the team deserves credit for establishing one at a position where there has seemingly been some favoritism over the last couple of years, but it hardly reads as a situation where there is not a pre-determined sort of answer.
The Cowboys had a long time to bring back Hajrullahu if they really thought that he was their kicker of the future yet chose to wait until the middle of the summer. It seems like they like him enough to take him to Oxnard and push Garibay, but it doesn’t seem like a scenario where they are going to wind up with him earning the job himself.
We discussed the Dallas Cowboys specialists as a whole in the latest installment of our Training Camp Preview series on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!