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September 01, 2011

Buehler goes 1-for-2, but Cowboys owner hints that kicker will make the team

The Cowboys have gone through six kickers, counting Kris Brown and Kai Forbath. Brown was cut before training camp started. Forbath is on the reserve/non-football injury list and ineligible to play until at least Week 7. The Cowboys began their kicker kickoff, because incumbant David Buehler has been inconsistent.

Buehler went only 24 of 32 on field goals and missed two extra points last season, his first as the full-time placekicker. He had an up-and-down training camp, too, and then missed a couple of weeks with an injured hip flexor.

But Buehler's kickoffs might save him. He is among the league’s best at touchbacks, having booted 51 in his two seasons.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he knows what he wants to do at kicker, and said the "possiblity is there" that Dallas will keep two on their roster as they did in 2009. But he also stressed that kicking off is important, even though kickoffs have been moved from the 30 to the 35-yard line this season.

"I know this: I want that ball to go into the end zone [on kickoffs]," Jones said. "Seriously, I want it to go there every time on kickoffs. So we want that to happen."

Buehler made a 20-yarder but missed a 48-yarder wide right against the Dolphins. He made a 42-yarder in the exhibition opener against the Broncos in his only other attempt.

"There were a lot of elements that weren’t too friendly for kickers," Buehler said of Sun Life Stadium's dirt infield and a rainy night, "but you’ve got to go out there and get the job done. I hit my first field goal well and hit my kickoff pretty well. Good direction, in the corner, and got a touchback. But I need to drill that 48-yarder. I know I can make every kick put in front of me. I have the confidence; I have the ability; I know I can get it done. I just need to go out there and get it done."

Buehler said he was not worried about his job security. It helped his cause that veteran Dave Rayner, who was brought in last week, missed his two attempts. Rayner was wide right on a 51-yarder and wide left on a 36-yarder.

"My confidence is sky high," Buehler said. "I just need to get out there and put it through."

-- Charean Williams





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