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Aussie NFL player's 'unfortunate' kick

An injury to Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski led to Australian punter Michael Dickson taking over kicking duties.

Aussie NFL player's 'unfortunate' kick

An injury to Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski led to Australian punter Michael Dickson taking over kicking duties.

MICHAEL DICKSON #4 of the Seattle Seahawks before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
MICHAEL DICKSON #4 of the Seattle Seahawks before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Picture:Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

It would have been fitting if Australia's Michael Dickson drop kicked a rugby-style game-winning field goal or pinpoint kick off for the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Dallas Cowboys in their NFL wildcard play-off game.

The fairytale did not materialise for the 23-year-old punter from Sydney's Sutherland Shire.


The Cowboys won 24-22 at AT&T Stadium in Texas on Saturday to extinguish Dickson's miraculous rookie year and the Seahawks' season.

Dickson has had a charmed debut in the NFL - becoming the first rookie punter to be named to play in the Pro Bowl since 1985 and a first team selection in AP's All-Pro team.

The stage was set for him to be the hero when the Seahawks' 40-year-old kicker Sebastian Janikowski pulled a hamstring at the end of the first half.

Dickson was given goal kicking and kick off duties.

The Seahawks trailed by two points in the final minutes - a field goal is worth three.

But Dickson wasn't called on to attempt a field goal, coach Pete Carroll attempting two-point conversions after touchdowns.

With 78 seconds left, Dickson then had to kick off.

NFL kickers use a tee, but Dickson prefers to do drop kicks.

He was instructed to chip a drop kick just over the heads of the line of Cowboys facing him, with the hope his Seahawks special teams unit could recover the ball to give them a shot at a game-winning touchdown or field goal.

But Dickson fluffed it, kicking deep for the Cowboys to safely recover and win only their third play-off game since taking out the Super Bowl in 1996.

"I wish Mikey could have found a better place to drop that kick so we could have had a shot at it," Carroll said.

"It was unfortunate because we had plenty of time left - a minute, 18 seconds left."

Dickson never played rugby league or union and only learned how to drop kick in the US in recent years.

Dickson did set up the Seahawks' first touchdown the traditional way with a pinpoint 45-yard punt that was recovered by his special teams unit on the Dallas two-yard line.

Dallas struggled to get out of their own half and the field position led to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson running for a four-yard touchdown six minutes after.

The game had a gruesome start with Dallas wide receiver Allen Hurns suffering a severe left ankle injury.

In Saturday's AFC wildcard game the Indianapolis Colts continued their hot form by knocking out the Houston Texans 21-7 to set up a clash next week against the NFL's top seed, the Kansas City Chiefs.

On Sunday (Monday AEDT) Australian punter Cameron Johnston and his reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles play the Chicago Bears in the second NFC wildcard game.

AAP


AAP




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