There are many unofficial stages of being locked in as a professional athlete: being on fire, in the zone, untouchable and historically unprecedented, to name a few. Dallas Cowboys rookie kicker , a former collegiate soccer player at Notre Dame as well as in the MLS, is in the final level: historically unprecedented. He outscored the now 10-3 Philadelphia Eagles by himself in the Cowboys' 33-13 victory that put Dallas (also now 10-3) in first place in the NFC East on the strength of the division record tiebreaker.
Aubrey connected on field goals of 60, 59, 45 and 50 yards to extend his NFL record for the most made field goals to start a career to 30. He also connected on all three of his extra points, good for 15 total points -- or two more than Philadelphia scored as a team -- in Week 14. As recently as this past January, the Cowboys were sweating extra points after former kicker Brett Maher missed four PATs in the team's NFC wild-card round win at the Tampa Buccaneers.
"I have to pinch myself to think that it's been less than 12 months that I didn't think we were going to make a PAT," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said postgame on Sunday night. "It just shows you that thing can turn, and it has. I don't know that I've witnessed any more impressive kicking exhibition."
The 28-year-old also became the first player in NFL history to make two field goals of at least 59 yards in the same game. His first make came with 50 seconds left in the opening quarter, marking the first time in NFL history a field goal of 60 yards or longer has been made in the first quarter.
"Brandon is a sniper," Cowboys left guard Tyler Smith said postgame. "We take a lot of pride in just our job, and I'll feel good just knowing that as long as we hold up for him, he'll hold up for us. He's really valuable to the squad to come in and make a big impact in his first season. That's just how invested he is. That's him, that's who he is."
Aubrey's four made field goals comprised a combined 214 yards for an average kick distance of 53.5 per field goal attempt. According to OptaStats, that is the longest average length of a kicker's made field goals in a single game in NFL history, with a minimum of four field goals made.
"Our kicker [Brandon] 'Butter' [ Aubrey] showed up, as he always does," Dak Prescott said postgame. "I gave it [the nickname] to him not too long ago after probably his first 10 kicks or maybe even kicks in training camp. Yeah, it's just because he's smooth, super smooth, and makes them all. He makes it as easy as butter. He deserves it."
Despite almost every deep kick he hits making some sort of history, Aubrey claims to be blissfully unaware or unfocused on those markers during games.
"Yeah, I'm just trying to go out there and do my job," Aubrey said. "Honestly having the opportunity to do that, I'm sure not a lot of guys have the coaches that are willing to give them those opportunities. So just being able to convert those opportunities and keep them coming feels good."
What helps is he certainly isn't lacking in confidence. After his 60-yard field goal appeared as if it could be good from around 68 yards, Aubrey answered the question many were thinking, "Could he make a 70-yarder?"
"I can, absolutely," Aubrey said. "[Would] Probably [be] end of half. Up by a score or something, something like that. Get the ball back at the end of the half... Just going out there and doing it one at a time. Just taking it one kick at a time and I know I can make any of the kicks they've asked me to do. To go out there and make it is just something I expect myself to do at this point."
Earlier in the season, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy compared. Now, it sounds like McCarthy has just about the same level of confidence in his rookie kicker that he did in the Packers' all-time leading scorer during his days as the head coach in Green Bay (2006-2018).
"It's not that surprising, because I wouldn't be doing what we're doing," McCarthy said postgame Sunday night. "If you just watch him kick every day, he's just so consistent. He has tremendous strength. His ball flight is just so consistent, the way the ball comes off his foot, so obviously, we have we have great confidence in him. I think these kinds of kicks are something I've always felt as a head coach you give your kicker these kind of opportunities in games early in the season. It sets up for a big kick like this in a big game here. I think those kicks will definitely pay dividends in the playoffs and get to where you want to get to."
That mindset from the top of his coaching staff empowers Aubrey to continue booming away with ease.
"Absolutely, having the confidence and faith in me to send me out there in the first quarter, second quarter I think was the other one, gives confidence to me obviously," Aubrey said. "The coaches keep calling my number, to have that faith in me, gives me confidence"
The whole country saw Aubrey go off against the Eagles on "Sunday Night Football," but perhaps Aubrey inspired the next, younger version of himself watching on TV locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The kicker grew up Plano, a Dallas suburb, as a diehard Cowboys fan. Now, he's helping power his childhood team toward a division title.
"[It's] Massive," Aubrey said of playing for his childhood team. "Watched every single Cowboys game. Every week we'd make a big deal of it. Sit down with the family and just watch."
People typically don't come to watch kickers when they pay to go to a ball game, but in the case of Aubrey, he is becoming a fast, fan favorite with his automatic, reliable nature. Aubrey's fortitude will be tested next week when the Cowboys hit the road and go up to a true winter wonderland in Buffalo to face the Bills in Week 15.