The Dallas Cowboys cut down their roster to the 90-player limit. Doing so, reducing their number of kickers from two to one. Releasing Chris Naggar.
The decision to waive kicker Chris Naggar is considered a procedural move for the Cowboys, who needed to get down to 90 players. The Arlington native is a candidate to be re-signed at a later date, source said.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 13, 2022
This being short-lived as Naggar is back on the squad. Even more so, the Cowboys have added a third kicker to the competition.
In spirit of Cowboys’ offseason competition at kicker, they are evaluating Simon Mathiesen this weekend at rookie minicamp. Denmark native and ex-Northwest Missouri State standout has not kicked competitively in years. Gets shot now, joining Jonathan Garibay, Chris Naggar in mix.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 12, 2022
For now, these are the three kickers on the Cowboys roster:
- Chris Naggar
- Jonathan Garibay
- Simon Mathiesen
The Cowboys are taking the replacement of Greg Zuerlein seriously, giving special teams coordinator Jon Fassel as many players needed to fill. However, it seems like the signs are pointing to Garibay being ‘the guy’.
For now, Naggar is back in the competition. It does raise an eyebrow, however, that despite his return, the Cowboys felt comfortable enough to let him potentially get snatched by another organization.
He does have the most NFL experience of the three. Having three attempted kicks in 2021, making his lone field goal and completing one of two extra points. Prior, he was more known for his kicks on YouTube.
Mathiesen seems like the longshot of the group. Having not kicked competitively since Dak Prescott’s rookie year (2016), despite staying connected, working for Trackman Football.
Garibay has been the favorite since he was added as an undrafted free agent, seemingly the most likely to make the roster. Based on their final college seasons, Garibay has higher marks than Naggar; field goal percentage, extra point percentage, longest kick and consecutive field goals made.
Garibay even ranked as the fourth best kicker prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft by Pro Football Network:
“His is 2021 season was one of the best we’ve seen.
On his way to earning first-team All-Big 12 honors, Garibay missed just 2 kicks — a field goal and an extra point. The Texas Tech kicker was perfect on kicks under 50 yards.
However, don’t be fooled by those statistics into thinking his game breaks down over 50 yards. Garibay has an incredibly strong leg, hitting a 62-yard field goal that ranks as the third-longest at the FBS level since 1988… Garibay is clutch.”
For comparison to kicks under 50 yards, Zuerlein completed 90% for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021.
The front office has brought in kickers with little to no experience. Even releasing and re-signing the only one with any in the NFL. Even though this appears to be a volume competition, all signs point to Garibay being the kicker Week 1.
Obviously we won’t know for sure until the end of pre-season. By then, expect number one to be the number one option.
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports