When Wade Phillips went for a first down twice on fourth down in the Cowboys’ first offensive possession Sunday, it seemed that he lacked confidence in field goal kicker David Buehler.
Not true, the Dallas Cowboys coach said.
“We wanted to be real aggressive,” Phillips said.
Phillips was sensitive to coverage of Buehler during the week. Buehler had missed field goals in each of the Cowboys first two games and each came at a crucial time.
When it was reported that Buehler had a bad practice and missed four field goals one day, Phillips complained to the media the next day and stated that reporters lacked “the expertise” to judge Buehler.
Buehler responded on Sunday. After not getting a chance on the first drive, he hit field goals of 49 and 40 yards in the 27-13 Cowboys victory.
The 49-yarder came as time ran off the clock in the first half and Phillips was so excited that he responded with a fist pump.
“It was important for the team,” Phillips said. “It just proves you can watch a couple of kicks in practice and not know for sure.”
Phillips smiled after delivering the verbal jab at the media.
“He’s still a young guy,” Phillips continued, “but his percentages are going up and that’s what we’re looking for. He’s got a nice swing. He hits the ball good a high, high percentage of the time. That’s what you’ve got to go on. I’ve seen kickers, really good ones that way, plus he’s got the length. Like I said last week, a 48-yarder, a 49-yarder, the guys out on the street right now are older kickers, might not try it. That’s important too.”
-- Jan Hubbard