ESPN Insider: Cowboys to Add Competition for Key Starter Before 2022 Season

Mike McCarthy

Getty Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys watches action during a game.

The Dallas Cowboys have been facing questions at several positions this season, but one spot has slipped under the radar.

Adding to the wide receiver group and the defensive end spots have been a priority thanks to the departures of DE Randy Gregory and WR Amari Cooper. While Dallas has added proven veterans like James Washington and Dante Fowler Jr. to those positions, the front office has yet to sign a veteran kicker.

At the time of writing, Jonathan Garibay is the only kicker on the roster. Garibay was an undrafted free agent signing as the team released longtime NFL kicker Greg Zuerlein, but going into the season with a rookie at a crucial spot like kicker is typically a risky idea. That’s why ESPN insider Todd Archer is stating the Cowboys will add some form of competition for Garibay at some point this Summer.

“In all likelihood, the Cowboys will add another kicker before flying to Oxnard, California, for training camp in July, but the assorted veterans available have résumés that don’t guarantee more success than Garibay,” Archer writes.

However, the ESPN reporter does offer a name as a likely addition, and Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy has also given hints on the team’s next move.

McCarthy Comments, Archer Predicts

A name that was initially on the roster as a competitor for Garibay was Chris Naggar. Naggar formerly kicked for the New York Jets, appearing in one regular-season matchup. However, Archer thinks that Cowboys fans haven’t seen the last of the kicker.

That being said, kickers impressing in the USFL could have a shot too.

“It’s possible the Cowboys re-sign Chris Naggar,” Archer wrote. “Who was released before the rookie minicamp this spring. He has kicked in one NFL game. They will likely keep their eye on kicker battles across the NFL this the summer, and might even look to the USFL for help.”

In his report, Archer also mentions that McCarthy has commented on the situation. Pretty much NFL team that doesn’t have an established, veteran kicker has competition for the summer, but McCarthy is preaching “patience” as Dallas figures out a crucial area of the team.

Garibay Arriving with Impressive Resume

Part of the reason Dallas may not be in a rush to sign a new kicker is the fact that Garibay does have reason for upside. The former Texas Tech Red Raider isn’t traveling far from Lubbock, Texas to play for the Cowboys and is coming off a tremendous final college season.

According to Texas Tech’s official website, Garibay knocked down 49-of-50 PATs and made 15 of 16 field goal attempts. What’s especially enticing about Garibay is his knack for making a big kick.

The California-born kicker made game-winning tries against West Virginia and Iowa State in 2021, with the latter being a 62-yard bomb. The kick was the longest go-ahead field goal with a minute or less remaining in NCAA history, and it also ranks as the second longest field goal in Big 12 history.

Garibay is coming off a season that solidified him as an NFL prospect, but it’s important to recognize that’s still what he is. As Archer expects, the Cowboys adding a veteran kicker is a sensible move before the 2022 season.

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