Cowboys Rumors: Dallas targeting stud kicker on Day 3 of NFL Draft
By Jerry Trotta
All of the talk surrounding the Dallas Cowboys this offseason has centered on the trades for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks and how the front office plans to fill the roster’s remaining holes in next week’s NFL Draft.
Tight end, running back, defensive tackle and cornerback are positions that could be addressed in the draft. Some mocks even have Dallas taking a receiver at No. 26 overall. In fact, ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper mocked TCU's Quentin Johnston to the Cowboys in their combined three-round mock.
A position that hasn't been discussed nearly enough since the offseason started, however, is kicker. Jerry Jones made it clear Dallas is moving in a different direction after Brett Maher's historic meltdown in the Wild Card win over the Bucs.
Not having a kicker at this juncture of the offseason isn't a big deal, but it might behoove Dallas to finally draft a prospect instead of trying to catch lightning in a bottle with a well-traveled veteran.
With that, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reported Michigan standout Jake Moody worked out for the Cowboys. Moody was Dallas' fifth-round pick in The Athletic draft expert Dane Brugler's annual seven-round mock.
Cowboys linked with Michigan kicker Jake Moody before NFL Draft
Folks will debate whether drafting a kicker is an appropriate use of resources given the Cowboys are down three picks after trading for Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore and that teams generally find gems in the undrafted free agent pool, but Moody is widely regarded as one of the top kicker's in this class.
Here's what Cowboys VP Stephen Jones about potentially drafting a kicker.
"We'll look,'' Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said recently, in the draft. It'd be nice to start with a young guy that can go out there and be successful and have the right nervous system to be successful and have a guy around here for three or four years. That'd be the perfect fit.''
The former Wolverine's resume speaks for itself, as he currently holds the program record for field goals (69), and points (355). Moody owns the record for most field goal makes of 40 yards or more with 17 and he drilled an impressive four kicks from at least 50 yards.
As those numbers indicate, Moody was one of the country's most efficient kickers. He knocked down 82.1% of his field goals (69-of-84) and all 148 of his extra points on his way to winning the Lou Groza Award as the nation's premier kicker as a junior in 2021. He was the runner-up for the award this past season.
Two of the NFL's best kickers -- the Raiders' Daniel Carlson and Bengals' Evan McPherson -- were taken in the fifth round of the 2018 and 2021 drafts, respectively. Only 17 kickers have been drafted in the last decade, but Moody's tenure in Ann Arbor makes you wonder if Dallas should buck that trend for the young stud.
Regardless, he's a name to watch on the final day of the draft.