The Dallas Cowboys spent their time during the 1995 NFL Draft looking for backups. The dreadful draft resulted in the selections of Sherman Williams, Kendell Watkins, Charlie Williams, Alundis Brice, and Dana Howard. Three of the ten players selected never played a down with the team, and only tight end Eric Bjornson ever became a starter. The team had so much talent that there was little room for rookies.
One rookie defied the odds, however, to make the final cuts in August. Kicker Jon Baker impressed the Cowboys with high kickoffs that had average hang times of 4.1 seconds. This was much better than kickoffs by Chris Boniol, who could only manage hang times of 3.8 seconds.
When the Cowboys opened at the Meadowlands on September 4, 1995, the player kicking off was Baker. In three games, he kicked off 16 times with a 64.9 average per kickoff.
Boniol struggled early during the 1995 season, missing a field goal and an extra point against the Vikings in week 3, and some thought the Cowboys might turn to Baker for field goals as well.
That never happened, though. Two days after the Cowboys’ win over the Vikings, Dallas cut Baker to allow Boniol to resume kickoff duties. The theory was that Boniol would find a better rhythm if he kicked off and kicked field goals.
The result? Boniol did not miss another field goal all season (though he did miss an extra point).
Baker did not play again until 1999, when he filled in for the Kansas City Chiefs for a couple of games.