After placing longtime punter Chris Jones on injured reserve this week, the Dallas Cowboys have planned workouts with two veterans at the position; Marquette King and Colton Schmidt. One of these players may be signed and taking over the job for Dallas following their Week 10 bye.
Dallas’ punter today for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be Hunter Niswander. He was added to the practice squad last week and clearly the team knew there was an issue with Jones at that time.
Former UC Davis punter Colton Schmidt also will work out for the Cowboys next week. He and Marquette King are both in town, as Dallas explores its options with Chris Jones recovering from core-muscle surgery. Schmidt punted for Bills from 2014 to 2018.
King, Niswander, and Schmidt were all involved in the short-lived reboot of the XFL earlier this year. Schmidt was also part of the AAF during it’s failed launch in 2019.
The Cowboys appear to be hedging their bet by lining up these veterans. If Niswander struggles this week against Pittsburgh, that gives Dallas the bye week to get work on replacing him and hopefully having King or Schmidt ready to play against Minnesota in Week 11.
Marquette King has been the best of this bunch at one point in his career. He was a 2nd-team All Pro in 2016 and is a rare household name for the punting position. His personality has been an issue times, leading to his release from the Raiders.
King was the leading punter in the XFL prior to its shutdown due to COVID-19.
While never a standout like King, Colton Schmidt was with Buffalo from 2014-2018. Lasting for five seasons with any NFL team is a pretty solid compliment for a special teams player.
Still, both of these players are now in their 30s just like Chris Jones. Niswander is much younger and a solid game today could let him keep the job for now, perhaps earning continued work beyond the 2020 season.