Rafael Septién

Rafael Septien
No. 1
Position: Kicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1953-12-12) December 12, 1953
Place of birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 176 lb (80 kg)
Career information
High school: Colegio Vista Hermosa (Mexico)
College: Louisiana-Lafayette
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 10 / Pick: 258
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

José Rafael Septién Michel (born December 12, 1953, Mexico City) is a former Mexican-American placekicker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1978 through 1986. He was the leading scorer for the Cowboys those nine years. He initially played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1977 after finishing college at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Early years

Rafael Septien's father, Carlos, was a professional soccer player in Mexico, who played for the national football team in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cups.[1] He looked to follow in his steps by joining Club América's youth system, but was never a regular starter.

A friend told him that the University of Southwestern Louisiana needed a kicker, so he walked-on to the football team after a tryout. He experienced success from the start of his football career. On October 5, 1974, he kicked a 57-yard field goal, breaking Gerald Landry's 1963 school record.[2] In 1975 and 1976, he received first team Southland Conference honors.

Septien had a remarkable college career, finishing as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette all-time leading kicker and breaking many of the school's records,[3] some of which still stand today:

Professional career

New Orleans Saints

Septien was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the tenth round (258th overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft, but was waived on August 31.[4]

Los Angeles Rams

He was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Rams in 1977, making 18 out of 30 field goals (60%) and being named to the All-rookie team. In 1978, he was released after the final pre-season game to make room for third round draft choice Frank Corral,[5] who would go on to have a standout rookie year.

Dallas Cowboys

On August 30, 1978, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, who were looking for a replacement for All-Pro Efren Herrera, after he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks because of a contract dispute.[6] He showed a strong leg for kickoffs and was second in scoring in the NFC. He also played in Super Bowl XIII, making a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter and scoring four PATs, in a 35-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.[7]

Septien received All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors at the end of the 1981 season, after leading the league with 121 points and 27 field goals, he also set a franchise record with 9 straight field goals made. In 1983, he broke his own Cowboys' scoring record with 123 points (fifth in the NFL).[8]

On April 8, 1987, he was indicted after pleading guilty to a charge of indecency with a child and received a 10-year probated sentence. A week later he was released by the team and replaced with Roger Ruzek.[9]

Septien led the Cowboys in scoring in all of his nine seasons with the team, making 162 field goals in 226 attempts and scoring 388 PATs. He left as the fourth most accurate field goal kicker in league history, the eighteenth all-time scoring leader (first in franchise history) with 874 points and his 91 percent field goal accuracy in the playoffs was the best in league history. He was named to the Cowboys' 40th anniversary team in 2000.

Denver Broncos

On June 14, 1989, he was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos after being out of football for two years,[10] but was waived on August 29.[11]

Indecency with a child

A Dallas County, Texas, grand jury indicted Septien January 22, 1987 on a charge of mishandling a minor. He pleaded guilty on April 8, 1987, to a charge of indecency with a child in an agreement with prosecutors that brought him a sentence of ten years of deferred probation and a $2,000 fine.[12] He was released by the Cowboys a week later. He never played professional football again.


  1. "Carlos Septien FIFA". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  2. "Tulane wins, 17-16". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  3. "Ragin Cajuns : The Record Book" (PDF). Ragincajuns.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  4. "Sports Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  5. "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  6. "Pokes Ink Septien". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  7. "Touchdown That Wasn't Doomed Dallas". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  8. "Cowboys Eliminate Rams, 29-21". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  9. "Septien waived by Cowboys". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  10. "Septien Wants Past Forgotten, Chance With Broncos". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  11. "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  12. "Septien Pleads Guilty". New York Times. April 9, 1987. p. B15. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
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