Rafael Septién

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Rafael Septien
No. 1
Personal information
Born: (1953-12-12) December 12, 1953 (age 67)
Mexico City, Mexico
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:176 lb (80 kg)
Career information
High school:Colegio Vista Hermosa (Mexico)
NFL Draft:1977 / Round: 10 / Pick: 258
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:151
Field goals:180 / 256
Extra points:420 / 433
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

José Rafael Septién Michel (born December 12, 1953) is a former Mexican-American placekicker in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Early years[edit]

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.

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[edit]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

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[edit]

On September 16, 1977, Septien was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Rams. He made 18 out of 30 field goals; his 60% average ranked fourth best in the NFC and he was named to the All-rookie team. On August 28, 1978, Septien 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[edit]

On August 30, 1978, Septien was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, who only had rookie kicker Jay Sherrill on the roster after All-Pro Efren Herrera was traded to the Seattle Seahawks because of a contract holdout.[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]

In 1979, Septien finished third in scoring in the NFC. In 1980, he set a franchise record with 59 extra points and was fifth in scoring in the NFC.

In 1981, Septien received All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors at the end of the season, after tying Eddie Murray for the league lead with franchise records for 121 points, 27 field goals, and nine straight field goals made. He became the Cowboys' all-time career field goal leader with 73.

In 1982, Septien became the team's all-time leading scorer, breaking Bob Hayes' previous mark of 456 points. He also made a career-long 53-yard field goal against the Houston Oilers. His 50-yard field goal against the Green Bay Packers tied Garo Yepremian for the second longest in playoff history.

In 1983, Septien broke his own Cowboys' scoring record with 123 points (fifth in the NFL) and his 81.5 percent field goal average broke Herrera's team season mark of 78.3 percent.[8]

In 1985, Septien was limited with a back injury. He missed the second half of a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a pulled muscle in his right leg.

On April 8, 1987, Septien was indicted after pleading guilty to a charge of indecency with a child and received a 10-year probated sentence. On April 15, he was released by the team and later replaced with Roger Ruzek.[9]

Septien led the Cowboys in scoring in each 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[edit]

On June 14, 1989, Septien 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]

Personal life[edit]

On January 22, 1987, a Dallas County, Texas grand jury indicted Septien on a charge of mishandling a minor. He pleaded guilty on April 8, 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.

In 2019, Septien returned to public life as a drummer in a band fronted by metal vocalist Goran Edman.[13]


  1. ^ "Carlos Septien FIFA". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  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, 2018.
  5. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Pokes Ink Septien". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "Touchdown That Wasn't Doomed Dallas". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Cowboys Eliminate Rams, 29-21". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Septien waived by Cowboys". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  10. ^ "Septien Wants Past Forgotten, Chance With Broncos". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Septien Pleads Guilty". New York Times. April 9, 1987. p. B15. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  13. ^ http://www.melodic-rock.com/interviews/goranedman.html