Brandon Aubrey has quickly become a dependable option at kicker for the Dallas Cowboys since signing with the franchise this offseason.
How did the Cowboys find an answer at the spot in Aubrey, a former USFL player?
How Did the Dallas Cowboys Find Brandon Aubrey?
Aubrey, a 28-year-old rookie undrafted free agent, grew up a soccer player and was a standout player during his four-year collegiate career at Notre Dame from 2013-2016. He then spent two years playing in the United Soccer League, the league below Major League Soccer, for both Toronto FC II and Bethlehem Steel FC.
He then stepped away from the pitch in 2018 after being released from Bethlehem Steel FC and began working to become a placekicker with Brian Egan, a former Mississippi State kicker and kicking coach.
Aubrey was drafted by the Birmingham Stallions in the 2022 USFL Draft and made 32 of his 37 field-goal attempts across two seasons for the Stallions in 2022 and 2023, helping them win back-to-back USFL championships.
Cowboys special teams coordinator John “Bones” Fassel began scouting the USFL for a kicker replacement and discovered Aubrey there. Dallas then signed Aubrey in July 2023, and he beat Tristan Vizcaino for the placekicker job in training camp.
“You’re taking a chance for sure because there’s not a lot of tape on [Aubrey] except for at that point was a season and a half of USFL film, but there’s clearly some leg talent there,” said Fassel back in September.
Aubrey’s Hot Start to NFL Career
Aubrey has given the Cowboys the consistent option they wanted at kicker so far this season.
The rookie has made all 18 of his field-goal attempts through Dallas’ first seven games, including three from 50+ yards. He has also made 17 of 18 extra-point attempts after missing the first kick attempt of his career in Week 1 against the New York Giants.
It’s certainly unlikely Aubrey remains perfect on field goals throughout the season, but the Cowboys seem to have found an important solution to their woes at kicker.
“The more reps he gets out of it, the better he’s gonna get. There’s still little tiny things that [we’re] taking a fine-tooth comb through to continue to tighten it up. But he has great talent, obviously,” said Fassel.
“There’s something about those guys that have powerful soccer legs that translate to the NFL as long as you don’t overcoach them,” mentioned Fassel, who added that there’s a healthy balance with coaching for all players, not only kickers.”
Finding him just required looking in an unlikely place.