The Cowboys have wrapped up their fifth practice of training camp, but just their second since the pads came on. That’s coincided with the commencement of the kicking competition, pitting USFL star and former pro soccer player Brandon Aubrey against last year’s practice squad member, Tristan Vizcaino.
On Monday, we got the first look at both kickers, as the two will compete for the vacant kicker job. Both kickers made five of seven attempts, with both making all three of their kicks in Mike McCarthy’s famous mojo moment segment of practice. It wasn’t terrible for the start of the competition, but not great either.
Things got a bit better on Tuesday, though.
Cowboys kickers just completed a seven field-goal set at practice’s outset. Brandon Aubrey went 6-for-7, missing wide right from 39, right hash. Tristan Vizcaino was 5-for-7, bouncing a 33-yarder, left hash, off left post and missing wide left from 48.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 1, 2023
Aubrey is considered the frontrunner for the job, but just like Jonathan Garibay a year ago, he has to earn it. Aubrey had a nice day, with a lone miss from 39 yards out. Vizcaino once again had two misses, and continued to show some struggles in the short game.
The mojo moment in the kicking game, where the coaches try to simulate high-pressure situations, was once again flawless. Both kickers hit all three of their attempts, which is an encouraging sign on its own.
Both Cowboys kickers, Brandon Aubrey and Tristan Vizcaino, made all three of their kicks during the Mojo Moment portion of practice, longest coming from 48 yards pic.twitter.com/MAha1I80it— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 31, 2023
It must be emphasized, of course, that this is still only the second day of the kicking competition in full. There is plenty of time for things to change, but Aubrey does seem to have jumped out to a lead after Tuesday.
Updated Cowboys kicker results:— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) August 1, 2023
Brandon Aubrey: 11/14 (3 for 3 in Mojo Moment)
Tristan Vizcaino: 10/14 (3 for in Mojo Moment)
Aubrey hasn’t been perfect, but he made progress from Monday to Tuesday. Vizcaino, meanwhile, didn’t have much change from one day to the next, and remained inaccurate from shorter distances.
Neither kicker has yet to show off their ability - or perhaps inability - to kick from 50 yards or beyond. Since John Fassel arrived in Dallas to coach the special teams, he’s always had kickers with big legs. Greg Zuerlein and Brett Maher both routinely drilled 50+ yarders, and even Garibay made a 62-yarder in college.
Those opportunities will surely come for Aubrey and Vizcaino as the competition continues. But the hope has to be that it doesn’t last that long at all, as each day without one kicker entrenching himself as the starter leads to louder cries from fans for a Robbie Gould or Mason Crosby to be brought in.