Watch Cowboys’ UDFA kicker make record-breaking field goal
Whether the Joneses want to admit it or not, the Dallas Cowboys had several needs heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, it’s kind of hard to argue that there wasn’t a single position that could’ve used some depth and assistance. With their nine draft picks, the Cowboys addressed most of the more dire holes: offensive line, defensive line, wide receiver, and tight end. However, there was one thing missing. A piece most hoped the front office would secure in the sixth round… a kicker.
After an inconsistent and frustrating season from NFL veteran Greg Zuerlein, the Cowboys cut the kicker during free agency. That left only Chris Naggar, an inexperienced kicker who was signed to a Futures/Reserve contract in February. So, why not look to the draft? This draft class was actually filled with talented kickers. So much so, that LSU’s Cade York was taken in the fourth round ahead of some quarterbacks, tight ends, and more. When the Cowboys were able to make their fifth and sixth-round selections, successful collegiate kickers like Gabe Brkic, Cameron Dicker, and Nick Sciba were all still available.
Instead, the front office chose to wait until after the official draft was over to bring in a potential Zuerlein replacement. The Cowboys signed Texas Tech kicker Jonathan Garibay as an undrafted free agent. Garibay became one of the most consistent and powerful kickers in a collegiate conference full of accomplished kickers. In his college career, he made 23 of 27 field-goal attempts and 55 of 57 extra-point kicks.
The Texas Tech kicker is most famous for his impressive 62-yard game-winning field goal against Iowa State. After getting out to a commanding lead, the Cyclones outscored the Red Raiders 24-10 in the second half to tie the game with a minute left. Prior to that moment, Garibay had only made one field goal over 40 yards in 2021. Nevertheless, he lined up and kicked that ball right through the uprights. You can watch the moment below.
Cowboys undrafted free agent kicker Jonathan Garibay made a record-breaking 62-yard winning field goal at Texas Tech
Not only did the kick give the Red Raiders their first bowl game eligibility in several years, but it also earned the kicker an endorsement deal from Church’s Chicken. It’s as corny as you’d think it might be. “This new spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich has a kick that seals the deal,” the Red Raider said in the commercial.
Chicken endorsements aside, this game-winner was the longest kick to win a game in FBS history with less than a minute on the clock, the longest field goal in Texas Tech history, and the longest made field goal by a Big 12 kicker since 1999. The field goal was also part of his 13 consecutive field goals made in 2021– another Texas Tech record.
This rookie has Cowboys fans excited. Consistency is certainly something this team has been missing from its placekickers. Last season, Garibay earned first-team All-Big 12 nods after leading the conference in made field goals. He was also the sixth-ranked kicker in the country with his 93.8% field goal percentage. Will Garibay be the starting kicker in 2022?