December 14, 2015

Highlighted Year: Richie Cunningham, 1997

Placekicker, Dallas Cowboys

Age: 27
1st season in pro football
College: Louisiana - Lafayette
Height: 5’10” Weight: 167

Cunningham was undrafted coming out of college and first tried to make the Cowboys in 1994, losing out in training camp to Chris Boniol. He sat out the next two seasons before receiving an invitation to try out for the Packers in ’96, and while he had a good preseason, he again was cut prior to the regular season. Invited to try out again with the Cowboys in 1997, Cunningham made the team.

1997 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 34 [1]
Most field goals, game – 5 at Arizona 9/7, vs. Philadelphia 9/15
Field goal attempts – 37 [3, tied with Jeff Wilkins]
Most field goal attempts, game – 6 at Arizona 9/7
Field goal percentage – 91.9 [2]
PATs – 24
PAT attempts – 24
Longest field goal – 52 yards at Pittsburgh 8/31

Field Goals – 34
PATs – 24
Points – 126 [2, 1st in NFC]

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, Sporting News

Cowboys went 6-10 to finish fourth in the NFC East.   

Cunningham followed up by kicking 29 field goals in 35 attempts in 1998 and, with a perfect 40-of-40 in extra points, scored 127 points. An ankle injury caused his performance to drop off during the ’99 season and he was let go and finished up the year with Carolina, where he also appeared in four games in 2000. Cunningham was waived by the Bengals prior to the 2001 season and had a brief stint with Jacksonville in 2002, his last year. Overall, over five active NFL seasons he kicked 84 field goals out of 105 attempts (80 %) and 119 of 120 tries for extra point for a total of 371 points. 75 field goals, 95 PATs, and 320 points came with the Cowboys.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970