The Dallas Cowboys' kicking woes have carried over into 2023.
Months after Brett Maher's sudden loss of consistency in the postseason, the Cowboys' replacements for Maher are also struggling. Tristan Vizcaino's rough practice on Saturday -- and generally poor performance throughout camp, as seen in his reported 22-of-35 line in field goal attempts -- prompted the Cowboys to release him Monday, leaving only Brandon Aubrey as Dallas' lone remaining option at kicker as of now.
Aubrey also didn't have a great outing on Saturday, missing 2 of 7 field goal attempts during the same practice in which Vizcaino finished with a conversion rate of 50 percent. But as a young kicker, Aubrey's potential -- he made 14 of 15 field goal attempts while kicking for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions in 2023 -- has convinced the Cowboys to proceed with him as their kicker for now.
"We're always open to (possibly adding a veteran)," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday of the kicking situation, per The Athletic. "But I'm excited about our young guy (Brandon Aubrey)."
Added owner Jerry Jones, via the Dallas Morning News, "We're comfortable. We're excited about what we've seen, excited about how he got here and he's having a real solid camp and so we're very comfortable going into the season with him."
A former professional soccer player in a third-tier United States league, Aubrey's football career has only recently begun. He joined Birmingham via the 2022 USFL Draft and earned all-league honors in 2022 before helping the Stallions win the USFL title in 2023. Aubrey missed just one kick in total in 2023, and the Cowboys deemed him ready to try his NFL luck in camp.
So far, it hasn't been entirely smooth for Aubrey, but the Cowboys feel comfortable enough with him to let him handle the kicking duties on his own for now. That could change if Dallas develops an interest in veteran Robbie Gould, or if another proven kicker becomes available, especially toward the end of preseason. Expect the Cowboys to do their due diligence on that front while hoping Aubrey settles in.