Earlier this month, Lincoln Financial Field played host to three sold-out concerts featuring One Direction and Luke Bryan. But on Thursday night, it was kicker Cody Parkey who earned an encore.
Acquired in a trade with Indianapolis last Wednesday, Parkey went out with 1:51 remaining in the second quarter to attempt a 54-yard field goal. There was no doubt whether the kick would be good or not as Parkey crushed the ball straight down the middle. The former Auburn kicker's career long in college was 52 yards in last year's SEC Championship Game.
"Just got to make the kick," Parkey said. "The same as an extra point."
Parkey is looking to unseat veteran Alex Henery, who has been the team's kicker over the past three seasons. In the third quarter, the Eagles were faced with another long field goal - a 53-yard attempt. Even though it was Henery's turn to match the rookie free agent, the Eagles wanted to see if Parkey could repeat the success that he had on his earlier kick.
Once again, Parkey put the ball through the uprights.
"You could put a lot of pressure on yourself, but the way I looked at it was that it's just another game. It was another game for me to show what I have," Parkey said. "In each and every game from here, that's how I look at it."
Parkey finished 3 of 3 adding a 25-yard field goal as the first half expired in the Eagles' 37-7 win over the New York Jets.
"My job is to put the ball through the uprights and that's what I'm trying to do," said Parkey, who also had two extra points and a pair of touchbacks.
Henery owns two of the four most accurate seasons by a kicker in Eagles history, but the team wanted competition this offseason after he missed six field goals - including playoffs - last year. The Eagles initially signed Carey Spear as a rookie free agent following the draft, but Spear was released during the cutdown to 75. Henery has missed two field goals this preseason and was hoping to get the chance at the long attempt in the third quarter.
"With the wind that way, it's in my range, so I could have hit it," Henery said.
Head coach Chip Kelly said following the game that no decision has been made regarding the kicker – or any other position at this point.
"We're not making any cuts right now," Kelly said. "We'll go back, evaluate the tape. We'll sit down as a staff (on Friday) and make final decisions on every position on our team."
The Eagles have until Saturday at 4 PM to get to the 53-man roster limit. Both kickers know that the decision lies with the team now.
"It's not up to me anymore. I did what I could," said Parkey, who will get some rest at the team hotel and watch the film on Friday. "I guess we'll see what happens from here. ... I'd love to stay here."
Henery may have not had the chance to kick a field goal Thursday, although he had three kickoffs that all landed in the end zone as well as a pair of extra points. Henery is going to let his résumé speak for itself.
"Other than the two (misses this preseason), I think I'm pretty consistent. I've done that in my first three years here," Henery said. "I think that I've kicked the ball well. My kickoffs have been getting better."