In the training camp battle between kickers Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu, the Cowboys are starting to look like the losers. With both candidates struggling in Oxnard, Dallas is bringing in several kickers today for a workout and possible new options. One of them is a familiar face; veteran Brett Maher.
According to one source, Hajrullahu has only made 75% of his kicks so far in camp while Garibay is at 60%. The Cowboys could've just stuck with Greg Zuerlein for those numbers.
Unofficially tally of the kicks from Lirim Hajrullahu and Jonathan Garibay in training camp: Hajrullahu 42 of 56; Garibay 34 of 57.
Will McClay tells reporters the Cowboys will work out four kickers: Brett Maher, Matt Ammendola, Cole Murphy, and JJ Molson.@1053thefan
— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) August 8, 2022
To be fair, both kickers' accuracy has improved in more recent practices. Hajrullahu has reportedly been near-perfect the last few days. Nevertheless, Dallas will still be kicking the tires on some other options.
Maher was the Cowboys' kicker from 2018-2019. He was in the 2018 camp as a relief leg for Dan Bailey but wound up taking the job, impressing the team with his big leg as Bailey battled injury and accuracy issues.
While only making 81% of his field goals in that first year, Maher also hit game-winners and set a franchise record with a 62-yarder. It was enough to extend his run into 2019 but his accuracy then dropped to just 67%. Dallas eventually released Maher in early December and added Kai Forbath to finish the season.
After spending 2020 on practice squads, Maher played eight games for the Saints in 2021 and went 16-of-18 (89%) on field goals. That uptick in accuracy is likely part of Dallas' renewed interest in his services.
Also in Oxnard today is Matt Ammendola, who has NFL experience from last season with the Jets. However, he only went 13-of-19 in his 11 games with New York and had no makes greater than 49 yards.
Cole Murphy is another kicker trying out. After failing to catch on with the NFL following his college career at Syracuse, Murphy played in the USFL earlier this year. He was 11-of-12 on field goals and showed off long-range ability with makes from 60 and 56 yards.
J.J. Molson has spent the last two years on practice squads, mostly with Green Bay as a backup to veteran Mason Crosby. He has yet to attempt a field goal in the NFL since leaving UCLA in 2020.
Hopefully, at least one of these contenders will give the Cowboys something to get excited about. Because so far, Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu have been raising eyebrows for the wrong reasons.