Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey looks to be more than a one-year wonder

Few kickers in NFL history, especially in their debuts, have had better seasons than Brandon Aubrey did last year. The Dallas Cowboys’ kicker enters 2024 hoping to maintain his sensational start and establishing himself as one of the top players at his position, more than just a fluke.

At 28 years old, after converting from soccer and spending a year in the USFL, Aubrey got onto the radar of NFL scouting departments and received an opportunity with Dallas in last year’s camp. He quickly outshined journeyman Tristan Vizcaino and was given the job ahead of the Cowboys’ first preseason game.

Only getting three field-goal attempts in August, Aubrey had to wait until the real games to show the world what he was made of. He did that by making 36 of 38 field goals, about a 94% completion rate, and 49 of 52 extra points. He went a perfect 10-for-10 from 50 yards and beyond, with a long of 60 on the year. Aubrey’s exploits, which included being the NFL’s scoring leader in 2023, made him an easy pick as a First-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler.

Aubrey didn’t put heat on David Akers’ single-season record of 44 made field goals, and he fell a few kicks short of the perfect seasons several kickers have posted in league history. But between volume and accuracy, and especially considering his unorthodox entry into the NFL, it’s no stretch to call Aubrey’s rookie season one of the more outstanding the league’s ever seen; the stuff Disney movies are made of.

Now, Aubrey has the challenging task of making a satisfying sequel. What makes a Justin Tucker or Dan Bailey is consistency over seasons, proving to be more than a one-year wonder. The reason there was even an opening in Dallas in 2023 was that Brett Maher, who himself had an excellent 2022 season, completely lost his mojo in the playoffs. In a league that’s always had a “what have you done for me lately” mentality, the shelf life can be especially, and brutally, short at kicker.

At the very least, Aubrey doesn’t have to worry about turnover on special teams. His holder, veteran punter Bryan Anger, is back for at least one more year. So is long snapper Trent Sieg, who was re-signed this offseason. Coordinator John Fassel is also returning, so all of the key ingredients to Aubrey’s secret sauce are in place.

If you have any concerns about Aubrey keeping form, it would be his age. As we mentioned, he had a very late start to American football. He turned 29 last March, which is still young in kicker years but not unheard of for a decline. Most of us can remember Dan Bailey’s performance, albeit with back and hip issues contributing, going off a cliff in 2017 at 29 years old.

Until he proves otherwise, though, Brandon Aubrey enters 2024 as arguably the best kicker in the NFL. He’s the reigning scoring leader and proved over the year he can hit from distance, and in the clutch, with the best of them. With the Cowboys needing every competitive advantage they can get, Aubrey could be one of their most valuable weapons for the upcoming season. He only had to keep up his own momentum, but that’s hardly guaranteed.


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