FRISCO, Texas — As the Cowboys return from a much-needed bye week, we've tried to analyze all sides of this team that sits at 4-2.
The offense and defense have both had their share of good and bad moments and the same could be said about the special teams.
Here's a look at the kicking game so far after six games.
MVP – Brandon Aubrey - Aubrey was not the first kicker signed this offseason, he was the second. Both he and the now-released Tristan Vizcaino struggled mightily in the Blue-White Practice, but something happened afterward: Aubrey became butter (as Dak Prescott put it). A former soccer player who turned into a placekicker just last year, he's gone from being a camp tryout to, right now, the best kicker in the entire NFL — threatening an all-time NFL record after having shattered Dan Bailey's franchise mark for most FGs made to start a career.
Best Play – Early blocked FG – Who had the first touchdown of the season going to … Noah Igbinoghene? No one could barely pronounce his name correctly when he was scooping the ball up and scoring to open the game in New York. But the way the season began, with Juanyeh Thomas busting through and blocking the Giants early field goal, returned for a TD by Igbinoghene was the best play so far for the special teams, setting the tone for a 40-0 blowout on Sunday Night Football.
Worst Play – Muffed punt in LA – Fortunately for the Cowboys, this play didn't end up costing the game but it definitely changed the momentum in the Chargers game. Jalen Tolbert was blocked into KaVontae Turpin on a punt return, causing the ball to hit the ground. Tolbert wasn't sure if the ball was touched so he dove on the ball and touched it first, which led to a lost fumble and the Chargers were able to tie the game. The irony here is that Tolbert has actually been a pleasant surprise on special teams with his ability to run down on punts and kickoffs.
Biggest Surprise – Aubrey's stats – It's back to Aubrey again, especially considering he is one of XX players now in NFL history to begin a career with 16 straight made field goals. He's eyeing the record of 19 straight made by Travis Coons in 2015. But Aubrey wasn't overly impressive in the preseason and then he missed his first extra point attempt of his career against the Giants. But since then, he's come back and made all of his field goals and extra point, totaling 28 consecutive kicks.
Key Stat – Special history? – Since special teams tackles became an official stat in 1988, only two players have ever led the team in that category for the Cowboys three times – Bill Bates (1989, 1990, 1993) and C.J. Goodwin (2019-2021). While Goodwin was on pace to perhaps lead the team once again, a pectoral injury has landed him on IR. However, Goodwin has said he will try to re-evaluate the injury after 4-6 weeks and hold off on having surgery to give himself a chance to return to help the team, and perhaps make history as well. Goodwin still leads the team currently with three tackles.
Watch Out For … Turpin Time Again? – Right now, the return game has been limited, and that's for most teams around the NFL. Touchbacks are the norm on kickoffs and on punts, most of them are kicked so high in the air that it usually leads to a fair catch. But as the weather gets a little cooler, don't expect to see as much consistency in the kicks and punts. That often leads to shorter kicks and that's where Turpin might be able to break free for a game-changing return. He's been a difference maker