The Cowboys' 2022 season ended with their kicker having a meltdown in the playoffs, and based on how training camp has gone over the weekend, they're probably not feeling much better about the position right now.
After moving on from Brett Maher following his postseason struggles, the Cowboys brought in Tristan Vizcaino and Brandon Aubrey this offseason to compete for the kicking job. While the competition still doesn't have a winner five days away from Dallas' preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, it now has a loser.
Vizcaino, who has played for four teams in three seasons -- the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots -- has been released, the Cowboys tweeted Monday. That leaves Aubrey, a 28-year-old NFL rookie who was picked up after his , as the only player at the position currently on the roster.
"We're always open to [possibly adding a veteran], but I'm excited about our young guy [Aubrey]," Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, via The Athletic, before the team's afternoon training camp practice.
When asked about the possibility of adding a veteran kicker, he said, "We're always open for business."
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones had a more colorful answer post-practice on Monday, referencing former Brett Maher's meltdown when he missed four consecutive extra points in their 31-14 NFC wild-card round win at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Have you heard of the yips?" Jones asked rhetorically on Monday, via ESPN. "Usually that goes with age," Jerry Jones said. "... [Aubrey's] age is actually a positive; not that a veteran player can't be a positive, too."
The two kickers had a disastrous day at training camp on Saturday, going a combined 9 of 15. The ugly part is that all six misses came from 42 yards and in. Of the two kickers that were on the Cowboys roster, only Vizcaino has NFL experience, but you wouldn't know it based on how he kicked over the weekend. According to the Dallas Morning News, Vizcaino only hit 50% of his field goals on Saturday (4 for 8), and all four of his misses came from inside 40 yards, including the 38-yarder you can see below.
Cowboys kicker Tristan Vizcaino missed four straight FGs from 33, 38, 39 and 39 yards. The first 39 had poor operation with bad snap, so team reloaded to second try. All misses wide left. Vizcaino 4-of-8 with context of bad operation on one. Brandon Aubrey: 5-of-7. Missed 33, 42. pic.twitter.com/f5xS76TSTz— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 5, 2023
Patrik Walker, who works for the team's official website, managed to squeeze four of the overall misses into one tweet.
Although Aubrey also struggled, he managed to hit 5 of his 7 field goals.
However, Aubrey performed better at practice on Monday as the sole kicker, hitting on seven of his nine field goal attempts -- according to ESPN --, including makes on his first six in a row.
"Being a rookie, it's good to get these game-like reps under my belt just so I'm more prepared when the game does eventually come," Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey said Monday after practice.
If the kicking competition doesn't drastically improve soon, there's definitely a chance that the Cowboys could turn to someone who's not yet on the roster. Luckily for the Cowboys, there are still several veteran kickers on the market, including Robbie Gould, Mason Crosby, Randy Bullock and Ryan Succop.
Out of the group, Gould or Crosby would probably make the most sense.
Gould holds the NFL record for most playoff field goals without a miss while Crosby is familiar with McCarthy because the two spent many seasons together in Green Bay.
One kicker who's not an option is Maher and that's because he. Maher was cut by the Cowboys after a historically bad postseason where he missed five extra points, including four in one game.