Marquette King is looking for a job in the NFL, and he might've just found one. Things have completely unraveled for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, and in large part due to an onslaught of injuries that now includes starting punter Chris Jones. The veteran has been nursing what was an undisclosed injury for much of the season and, in surprising fashion, head coach Mike McCarthy revealed this week that Jones would miss multiple games due to a core muscle injury that will require surgery to repair. And with that, the team has a vacancy at the position, which is where King might come in.
For now, the nod goes to former XFL standout Hunter Niswander, whom the team signed recently to the practice squad as insurance against Jones' injury, and that's who'll get the start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9. The Cowboys are now looking for either depth or a potential starter in King, who is set to workout for the Cowboys next week, after attempting to woo teams the past several weeks with social media videos that put his accuracy on full display. Exhibit A shows King actually kicking a ball into a basketball goal.
Level of difficulty: Insane.
Exhibit B shows King's ability to pull off the coffin corner punt -- funeral style.
For now, it's simply a workout for King, and he won't be alone.
The team is also looking to do a one over on Colton Schmidt, former UC Davis punter who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013 by way of the San Francisco 49ers. Schmidt has four NFL teams on his resume but didn't see game reps until he joined the Buffalo Bills in 2014, spending several seasons split between two separate stints in Upstate New York before being released in 2018 en route to joining the Alliance of American Football (Birmingham Iron) in 2019, and then the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL in 2019.
Much like Niswander, Schmidt is looking to build on his success in the XFL to find a long-term NFL home. King, however, already has the experience they lack, having joined the Raiders in 2012 and spending six seasons with the team making a name for himself as not only one of the most talented punters in the league at the time, and also one of the most intense. His final year in the NFL was spent with the Denver Broncos, signing a three-year deal worth $7 million in 2018 but was ultimately placed on injured reserve with a thigh injury in October.
He was released shortly thereafter with an injury settlement, joining the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL -- before the league was forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. King has been lobbying for a return to the NFL for more than two seasons now, and the former All-Pro will now get his chance, but not without some other former XFL competition.