If you’ve been following Cowboys training camp at all through the first two weeks, you’ve probably heard talks about the kicking situation. The talks have not been great, as both kickers currently on the roster have struggled mightily to start training camp.
Jonathan Garibay, a rookie kicker out of Texas Tech, was favored to win the 2022 kicking job heading into Oxnard, but early returns have not been great on the former Red Raider. In today’s field goal period, Garibay went 4-8, missing from 33, 39, 42, and 49. He did bounce back and have a decent “mojo moment” period going 3-4.
With Garibay struggling early, Lirim Hajrullahu has had the opportunity to take over as the favorite for the job, and while he’s likely taken the lead, he’s had his fair share of struggles as well. He did bounce back in a big way today after a rough practice on Wednesday. In his field goal period today, Hajrullahu went 7-8, with his lone miss coming from 49 yards. In Hajrullahu “mojo moment” period, Hajrullahu nailed all three attempts.
While the Cowboys probably didn’t have Pro Bowl aspirations for their rookie kicker coming into camp, they were hoping for much better early returns from Garibay. With both guys not running away with the job, the Cowboys likely have their eyes on the free agent market to possibly bring in competition to the kicker position at some point in camp.
For a team that relies heavily on their field goal kicker, this is an issue they will want to resolve sooner rather than later. We’ve seen this team lose games in the past due to not having a reliable kicker, and that’s something they want to avoid in 2022.