ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kamu Grugier-Hill's career as an NFL kicker got off to a rather inauspicious start.
After Jake Elliott left the game with a concussion, the linebacker began to warm up his right leg on the Eagles' sideline in the first half of the 37-9 win over the Cowboys (see breakdown).
His first kick sailed wide right, missing the net and soaring into the stands.
"Oh yeah," fellow linebacker Najee Goode said with a smile. "He definitely hit somebody. He hit a fan and the fan stood up."
Before that practice kick, punter Donnie Jones offered to move the net closer to Grugier-Hill, but the emergency kicker declined.
That was a mistake.
"I was like, 'Oh this is going to be a little rough,'" Grugier-Hill said about that miss. "After that, I kind of got a hold of it."
After that first bad attempt, Grugier-Hill settled down and actually had a decent showing as a kicker (see Roob's observations). He practiced some in the dark during a Jerry Jones ceremony at halftime.
He didn't attempt any field goals or extra points, but he did kick off after four touchdowns and even got a touchback on one of them.
Grugier-Hill, 23, practiced kicking just one time this season. Chris Maragos had been the Eagles' emergency kicker until he went down for the season with a knee injury. Fipp made Grugier-Hill practice it once.
Despite practice time, Grugier-Hill was confident in his kicking abilities. He played soccer through sophomore year in high school and said he was an All-Conference and second-team All-State punter in high school in Hawaii.
"I knew he could kick," cornerback Jalen Mills said. "We call him the Flying Hawaiian. He can do it all."
The Eagles were able to joke about Grugier-Hill's kicking prowess in the winning locker room, but for a while, they were in a precarious situation.
Coming out after halftime, they were trailing 9-7 and had to play the rest of what looked like a close game without a kicker.
Goode said it was obviously a blow, but noted the Eagles' offense was able to help out because they can put up points (see report card).
It did change the game because the Eagles didn't try any field goals after Elliott left the game and they went for two on all four of their second-half touchdowns. They converted on three of four.
"I don't even know if everybody on offense knew right away," Carson Wentz said. "I was in the know, but I don't even think everyone knew. It is what it is. We executed I thought pretty well on those two-point plays. That's why you have a lot of those plays dialed up. You don't think too much about it."
While the Eagles didn't announce when Elliott suffered his concussion, it's likely it happened on the opening kickoff. Return man Ryan Switzer took the kickoff 61 yards, but Elliott was there to greet him on the sideline to help prevent a touchdown. It looked like Elliott took a shot to the head.
He continued to play, but after missing a 34-yard attempt was taken inside to get checked out.
After Elliott went inside, Grugier-Hill began to practice kicking. It was an unusual situation for him, but he claimed he wasn't nervous.
"Everyone expected me to do bad anyways," he said, "so I [didn't] have anything to lose."