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Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants

I’ve spent a lot of this season airing my utter frustrations with Marion Barber and Roy Williams, both of whom I see as finished as far as their effectiveness and value to the team goes.

But there is another…

Can we all agree that our big experiment with David Buehler as the Cowboys’ place kicker has been nothing short of an epic and massive failure?

The Cowboys’ offseason to-do list is long and chock full of many needs, but no less important among those needs is finding a reliable place kicker for next season and waving goodbye to David Buehler.

Buehler has been frustrating to watch this season.

Some may say he had an impressive game against the Cardinals on Saturday night by nailing two long field goals of 42 and 53 yards while we were trying to comeback from being down 14 points early in the game.

But I’m sorry, that missed extra point was the last straw for me.

Football is a game of probabilities. And it is incumbent upon any team to improve those probabilities in every aspect of their game as they look to build a championship caliber team.

Whenever a critical kick is the difference between winning and losing, you can’t hand your game over to one as unpredictable and unreliable as our own David Buehler.

Easily, Buehler’s failures this season contributed to at least four losses that could have instead been thrilling victories for the Cowboys.

Imagine how much different this final regular season game against the Philadelphia Eagles would have been if the Cowboys were 9-6 and one win away from the Wild Card, instead of 5-10?

Oh, and don’t think for one moment that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hasn’t thought about that, especially when he saw Buehler miss that extra point.

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” he said. “I don’t even fathom missing an extra point. I don’t even fathom it. I just can’t even think about an extra point. That’s a freak thing when we miss an extra point.”

The Cowboys put their fate in the hands of David Buehler, needing only an extra point to take a three-point lead, and even with a simple task like that Buehler could not deliver.

After the game, Buehler admitted that he has hit rock-bottom. Sounds like Buehler nailed it.

Three Things That Were Most Responsible For The Dallas Loss

I’ve cooled down, and I have not created a giant poster of Alex Barron’s image to throw darts at.

Now it is time for the fan to soothe his emotions and for James Williamson to tell you what went wrong.

Well, there are three things that made that opening game a horrendous nightmare for Cowboy fans and ruined my weekend.

First: THE MISS

I’m disappointed in David Buehler. He has to make those field goals when we need them bad. We were down by three, needed three to tie it up, and he misses it from 34 yards? That happened in the first quarter.

If he makes that field goal, Dallas can kick a second field goal and we go to overtime instead of having to force a touchdown. That’s mistake number one. If Buehler doesn’t get it together, we might need to pick up another kicker and limit Buehler to just kickoffs.

Second: THE MUSIC CITY MELTDOWN

In the 1999 playoffs, the Tennessee Titans lateraled a kickoff in the final seconds and beat the Buffalo Bills to win a playoff game and eventually to the Super Bowl. The play was called the Music City Miracle because it was in Nashville, and you just could not believe it.

Well, Dallas had the polar opposite. Four seconds left, and Romo finally pitches it to Tashard Choice, the running back, and he has the ball stripped and taken in for the touchdown.

Now, we can blame Tony Romo for not taking a knee, we can blame Jason Garrett for calling a play (even though I would’ve done the same thing), and we can blame Wade Phillips because he is the head coach.

However, in my eyes, the blame is not on one person, but the lion’s share goes to Tashard Choice.

I don’t care if the play was worthless. Romo wanted to try to make something happen, and a lot of times he has made incredible highlights with those kind of plays. This is on Choice because once you get the ball, your job as a tailback is to what is it?….

HOLD ONTO IT!

He didn’t hold onto it. He allowed himself to get stripped and it is his fault that they got six points. People don’t blame Tashard because the common fan is uninformed and only knows the quarterback.

The quarterback is like the president and the supporting cast are members of congress. You don’t see people calling out the Senator of Alaska, but they do call out President Barack Obama.

I’m not blaming the quarterback for that travesty. That belongs to Choice really.

Third: THE IDIOT AT RIGHT TACKLE

Five penalties, three holds, one that nullifies the winning touchdown pass to Roy Williams. Roy Williams makes a clutch play to help people realize that he’s not that bad, and Romo shows how clutch he can be.

And what happens? An idiot decides to practice his chokehold technique on Brian Orakpo. The flag was for holding, and it was the right call. If that had been Marc Columbo instead of Alex Barron, Dallas wins that game. I have no doubt about it.

It stinks worse than a males’ restroom in the desert, but it happened. We have to move on and keep the faith.

We do that by wearing our jerseys on  Mondays after we lose. We do that by refusing to be ashamed of our Cowboys because we love them, and we are proud of our team and our logo even if we lose.

I was in class (college student here), and I was wearing my hat proudly. People heckled me about Dallas, but I told them that I’m not embarrassed. I love my Cowboys, and I stand by what I told Jesse Holley at training camp this past year.

“Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, we love you.”

I love you my Dallas Cowboys.

Do you love them?

Kickin It LSS Style!

David Buehler – Buehler was drafted in the 5th round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2009 NFL Draft, and the first kicker taken. At the end of his rookie year, Buehler finished the regular season with 29 touchbacks, the most of all NFL kickers. That number also set a new franchise record for most touchbacks in a single season. The previous record was 27 by Lin Elliot in 1992. As of July 2010, Buehler is the only placekicker on the Cowboys roster. So far this preseason, Buehler has made six of seven attempted field goals.

L.P. LaDouceur – Ladouceur joined the Cowboys three games into the 2005 season and has provided consistency at long snapper. He has made clean snaps on 276 punts, 109 field goals, and 176 PATs in his career, including the playoffs. He made his NFL debut at Oakland and snapped cleanly on five punts and two field goals. He finished the season with clean snaps on 70 punts, 25 field goals and 28 PATs. He was flawless on every snap attempt of the season while also contributing three special teams tackles.

Mat McBriar – McBriar was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys from the University of Hawaii. In 2006, McBriar made headlines with a 75 yard punt which made the record books as the second longest in Cowboys’ history. Also in 2006, he has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice for his outstanding punting ability. On February 28, 2007, the Cowboys extended McBriar’s contract to a 5-year, $8.5 million contract. He also received a $2.5 million signing bonus. This contract makes McBriar the highest-paid punter in the league.

Bio source – wikipedia.com

Random Observations

-Miles Austin is a GREAT receiver. He is elite. Period. Dez Bryant will make this offense unstoppable when he finally starts opposite Austin.

-2009 Ball State 3rd round pick Robert Brewster is still a year away from being an NFL caliber OT or G. Missing his rookie year due to injury, he just doesn’t have “it” yet. I would release him on the final cuts and try to get him back on the practice squad. If not, oh well. We need solid backups to survive this Super Bowl run.

-The tight end situation is terrible. It went from a strength on the team to a worry with John Phillips tearing his ACL. Although, if Sicko progresses this year, it gives us an out with Martellus Bennett should he continue his mundane play.

-Alex Barron needs coaching. Hudson Houck must change this guy’s bad habits or he will be a one and done as a Cowboy. You don’t pay good money for Pat McQuistan production.

-No way do you cut Deon Anderson. If you want Chris Gronkowski on the final 53, you must deplete another position’s depth and keep two fullbacks. Deon has been a fantastic blocker and a surprise threat out of the backfield as a receiver.

-David Buehler is doing a good job. Kickoffs, as usual, have been stellar. Touchback after touchback. Field goals have been good enough to keep believing in him. I love that he is working with Chris Boniol.

-Jon Kitna will be a solid backup should we, God forbid, need him to hold the fort for a few games.

-The linebackers on this team are off the hook. Our starters dominate. Bradie James and Keith Brooking will be the vocal leaders on this very strong defense. There are surprises such as Leon Williams that will make the final cuts a very hard job.

-Too much is being made of win/loss, Redzone failures and other trivial statistics in the preseason.

-5 preseason games could make you a tired team in January.

-Wade Phillips is awesome. His defense rocks and he has survived the headhunters of Dallas (media) through hell and back.

Back In The Saddle Again – Training Camp Notes

Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips are all smiles at the start of Cowboys Training Camp

I skimmed through all the different beat writer reports from today’s Cowboys Training Camp, and summarized all of the information for you.

Training Camp Player Valuations – In terms of talking about players after practice, Phillips doesn’t like to do it. He feels he needs to see some practice tape before talking about how well a player did or how bad a player did. Phillips said it gives him a chance to give better answers to questions.

“You may see a player do something real good in practice and the rest of the plays didn’t play well,” Phillips said. “Like a guy in a game, you think he played well, and he didn’t play well at all.”

Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants – The coach made a note that David Buehler isn’t the only placekicker on the roster. Delbert Alvarado is also a kicker but hardly gets mentioned because after the team released Connor Hughes, it was assumed Buehler had no competition. Even Buehler said he’s competing against himself.

“Alvarado did well, and that’s why we kept him in the spring,” Phillips said.

Safety First – Does Pat Watkins have a shot to become the starting free safety over Alan Ball? Phillips said he does and that there is competition at almost every position. However, Phillips would like to see Watkins, who is a strong special teams player, be more consistent on defense. Watkins did have a nice breakup of a long pass Saturday.

He Ain’t All That – *Dez Bryant, the rookie wide receiver, was impressive in his first practice. Phillips said it’s not the best debut he ever saw.

“I don’t know if he looked any better than Steve Largent when he came in,” Phillips said. “Cris Carter when he came in, I’ve seen some pretty good ones.”

Not To Be Nosy, But – *Marcus Spears is still the starting defensive end, but he will get some snaps at nose tackle during training camp. The Cowboys did some of this last year with him. Phillips doesn’t believe it’s the start of something long term for Spears.

“I would be comfortable with him playing there,” Phillips said of Spears at the nose. “He’s a smart player and he’s a good run player already, and normally nose guard is a run-player position. [Jay] Ratliff has taken it to a different level; you don’t see nose guards getting six and eight and ten sacks. But I think Spears can fill that role as a run player and I think he’ll do a good job there.”

We Kneed You Man – *Linebacker Keith Brooking might miss the second practice Sunday. He’s fine, but Cowboys want to bring him along slowly because he had minor knee surgery in the offseason. Brooking looked pretty good Saturday knocking down a pass and moving around pretty good.

MartyB TV Off The Air – Wade Phillips said he does not expect Martellus Bennett to miss much practice time in training camp with the sprained left ankle he suffered last week while working out. The Cowboys placed Bennett on the non-football injury list because he did not suffer the injury while under the Cowboys’ care.

Who Will Be the Cowboys Mystery Youngster?

Each year all thirty two NFL teams begin on the same footing. No wins, no losses and no ties. Usually they all have their minor bumps and bruises as they progress through mini and training camps. Every owner, general manager, coach and player have the same goal in mind. Super Bowl Champion. That’s right all three words have a capital letter because it is that important. Each one of those four positions have some of their own duties that are different from each of the other four or at least not the same as the other four. One duty that they all share is how to make all the pieces come together so they can achieve that one goal that they start every year with.

Each off season all players move on to another season whether it be with another team, another step in their life as they retire or maybe even stay with the same team and try to build on the blocks that have already been assembled. For those special few though that are drafted out of college to start their childhood dream of playing for an NFL team they become those mystery players that every fan wonders if they will be able to make it in the NFL. Granted some of them were so well known in college and they were drafted in the first round of the draft but there are those that fly under the radar and no one sees it coming. They end up playing a significant part on their new team. Some take a year to gather all the information before it starts to click but occasionally a team will get that difference maker. Where everything clicks the moment they put that NFL helmet on. Each team has these players but more importantly every Super Bowl Champion has these players. So I venture into the NFL statistics vault to find out who some of these players were over the last five years and who might possibly be candidates for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 as they drive towards the six-pack of Lombardi Trophy’s.

Over the last five years each NFL champion has had one or two players that were either in their rookie season or in their second year that made a difference on their run to a Super Bowl title. They may not have even started but they may have filled a hole in the lineup due to injury or maybe they were the situational player that wasn’t on the field every down. Either way they made a difference for their team. Last year there was a player on the Saints that many may not have heard of because his name isn’t announced very often and the only time you hear his name spoken is if he makes a mistake. The Saints second year player out of Nebraska, Car Nicks, came into last season and ended up starting all sixteen games of the regular season for them. In fact he had started 29 out of thirty games for them he has given up only two sacks over his first two years and only had his name called six times over two years for penalties while he held down that left guard position and help establish a rushing game and keep Drew Brees upright. The year prior Lamarr Woodley in his second year played fifteen games for the Steelers and racked up 11.5 sacks on their way to their title. Barry Cofield was fourth round pick for the Giants and playe din 16 games for them in their drive for the trophy. The year before that the Colts had two second year corners that played in almost every game during the regular season. Marlin Jackson sealed their victory of the Patriots on their way to the Super Bowl. Kelvin Hayden took a pick back for the Colts against the Bears for a touchdown to seal the win in that game. The Steelers fifth title was highlighted by two players, Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks, that started 14 and 10 games respectively. Roethlisberger even won the Rookie of the Year trophy the year before.

Now you may start thinking to yourself(at least I did) … Who could be that player for the Cowboys this year? Well lets just say there isnt a lack of players that has the opportunity to do it. Between last years draft and this years draft there are definitely some players with the talent and ability to step up and make the difference during this season. Kevin Ogletree is one of the fastest players on the team and he was really starting to come on at the end of last year. Dez Bryant is fresh out of college and if his production matches his hype the NFC East will be in a world of trouble for years to come. Receivers and those skill position players are easy to pick out by just the average fan. I am looking for that player that comes from no where and as the season starts to progress they start to question… Where did he come from? This is complicated by the fact that the player will need to also have an honest chance at possibly making it on to the field. So below I have listed my top five players based on those two categories mainly but with other factors added in as well.

(1) David Buehlergranted almost every Cowboys fan knows who he is but he is taking on the actually kicker position for field goals as well. They brought in Chris Boniol to help coach him up as he has never really had any formal training by a kicking coach. Boniol, who holds the record for field goals by a Cowboy, has already been with him and working through the off season. With the type of offense many are expecting the Cowboys to have he could have an outstanding year when it comes to points. They really haven’t brought in any competition for him but if he starts to stumble I am sure Jerry will have no problem finding a replacement. That is the main reason he is at the top of this list. The job is his. All he has to do know is … Aim, Plant..   and Swing!!

(2) Michael Hamlin – a fifth round pick out of Clemson a year ago. He was making some strides until he broke his arm. He didn’t do much the rest of the season as he found himself just struggling to get on the field. He makes number two because he the starter from last year is gone. This basically brings the fight for the position to come down to the winner between Alan Ball and him. He is a little bigger than Ball and if he can somehow get his hands on the starting position. He couldreally make a name for himself. Thought they did sign Barry Church out of Toledo after the draft and he could be dangerous as he is talented has nothing to lose.

(3) Sean Lee – Drafted this year in the second round there were a lot of teams that thought prior to the college season that this could have been a sure fire first round pick. He comes form Linebacker U after all. Thinking of all the linebackers that have come out of Penn State just makes me smile when I think of this kid. His only downfall is his injury history. He played like a first rounder through college but had a torn ACL his junior year. Has enough speed to play all three positions in 4-3 defense but in the 3-4 he will be able to roam as an inside backer and with Brooking getting a little long in the tooth it might not be long before we start hearing his name announced in the starting lineup.

(4) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah- though I was initially a big fan of Scandrick when we drafted him this kid has more than just the ability to step in on passing downs and display his coverage ability. He also is a pretty electrifying return man in college. Granted his dancing feet wont work well in the pros he will how ever be able to make people miss no matter how close they are to him. He could make his impact felt not only in the secondary as a nickel corner but also in the return game. If he can beat out Scandrick or even just make it as one of the defensive backs on the team they could also use him as a possible candidate at safety thought he is only 6 feet tall. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do on returns more than anything and I believe he will be an upgrade over what we have now.

(5) Victor Butler- Many already know who he is the limited spot duty he was able to play last year. He came in as a pass rushing specialist to give Spencer and Ware a breather. He ended up tying for fifth in the league for in sacks by rookies and if he is able to improve on his coverage abilities which he has been working on during the off season with Reggie Herring(linebackers coach) and Anthony Spencer he could give Spencer a run for his money and maybe give the Cowboys a depth of riches at the position. Especially with fellow 2009 draftee Brandon Williams earning lots of praise already this year at the same position during off season workouts.

A Folk’d Up Kicking Situation

After missing five field goals in the last four games, the Cowboys are starting to worry about their kicking situation. Nick Folk was automatic his rookie year making the pro bowl in 2007 and continued to shine in 2008. He had hip surgery in the offseason and didn’t resume kicking until training camp. This season Folk has missed 8 of 24 attempts.

It’s possible he’s just having an off year and after missing his normal offseason training and routine because of surgery it certainly explains why he’s struggling.

But its also possible that the misses aren’t completely Folk’s fault. As stated by the coaches, it could be a combination of things. Folk automatically gets the blame because he’s the kicker but there is also the long snapper and the holder in the mix.

“The hold, the snap, the kick, the coach,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said, including himself in the equation. “We’ve got to get it squared away.”

“I’m worried that it’s a combination of confidence more than anything,” Wade Phillips said. “They work all the time on it. Those guys spend a lot of practice time snapping and holding, snapping and holding. That’s what they do and kicking. I would feel like we would have more confidence than we’ve had. Whether it’s working into the kicker or the holder or whoever, we’ve got to determine what we need to do there and go forward.”

“I’m not losing any faith in Nick at all,” DeCamillis said. “I’ve been around this thing for 22 years, and I’ve seen them miss ‘em and I’ve seen them make ‘em. They go through stretches just like any other player. Unfortunately for him, it’s right out in the open for everybody to see.”

Both Wade Phillips and Joe DeCamillis are confident in Nick Folk’s ability so it doesn’t seem like any big changes are coming, but they will be working on some of the details and smaller aspects of the field goal unit.

Rookie kicker David Buehler is excellent on kickoffs but not as accurate or consistent when it comes to field goals.

Don’t expect to see any noticeable changes any time soon. It’s likely they will just practice more and try to correct the problem.

Hopefully the crowd can get back to cheering “FOLK YEAH!” very soon.

Injuries Will Make Things Interesting

Tomorrow the Cowboys face Redskins in Dallas for their first matchup of the season. The Skins will be missing some big names in their lineup including Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis. While the Cowboys will be without starters Ken Hamlin and Marc Colombo.

Washington may be banged up and they may only have a record of 3-6 but you can’t count this as a win just yet, as we’ve learned already this season.

The Cowboys have to hope that Doug Free is ready to fill in for Marc Colombo, otherwise the Cowboys offense could suffer severely. Alan Ball will be starting in Ken Hamlin’s place at free safety.

As always expect a great game between one of the biggest rivalries in football at “The House That Jerry Built” tomorrow at noon (central time).

Cowboys Injuries for Week 11
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Marc Colombo T Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Ken Hamlin S Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Allen Rossum CB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Marion Barber RB Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
David Buehler K right Toe Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mike Jenkins CB Elbow Full Participation in Practice Probable
Gerald Sensabaugh S Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
DeMarcus Ware LB Foot Full Participation in Practice Probable
Redskins Injuries for Week 11
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Chris Cooley TE Ankle Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Clinton Portis RB Concussion Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Eddie Williams RB Ankle Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Albert Haynesworth DT Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Mike Williams T Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Stephon Heyer T Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Ladell Betts RB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable

Injury Report from NFL.com

Dallas Injury Report: Buehler Might Need MRI

Add another injury to the list. Kickoff specialist David Buehler has a a bruised pinky toe.

The report comes from Nick Eatman at dallascowboys.com:

If the injuries weren’t enough from Sunday’s game, now it appears that kicker David Buehler has a bruised pinky toe on his right foot. He suffered the injury while covering a punt.

Head coach Wade Phillips said the team is aware of the injury, which occurred when the rookie was stepped on during the play.

Buehler was noticeably limping in the locker room on Monday and said it’s a painful injury. There’s a good chance he could have an MRI to check for a fracture.

While Buehler is right-footed, he said the injury would’ve been worse on his left plant foot.

If for some reason he doesn’t play, the Cowboys would at least have Nick Folk to handle the kickoffs.

Hat tip to Nate the Cowboy Ninja for the news.

Cowboys – Falcons Notes

The Dallas Cowboys are slowly getting healthy. Early on this season we have seen our share of injuries for the Cowboys but none major and it is something every team deals with. I would love to say that all the bumps and bruises are healed and everyone is 100% for this weekends up coming game against the tough Atlanta Falcons but alas that is not the case. However it does appear Running Back Felix Jones will be back in the huddle after dealing with a sprained knee. It remains to be seen how much he will be given but it will be nice to see the youngster out there. He will be wearing a knee brace for the game and has practiced with it all week so he should be fine. Coach Phillips Said Jones “Looks Fast” during practice.

Jones running mate Marion Barber and his banged up Quad are improving each week and should be the Cowboys number one back this weekend even though he has a broken thumb. He will wear a brace on that thumb and the good thing is it is not his main ball carrying hand. This will be the first time in a few weeks the Boys will have all three of their backs healthy enough to play together with Tashard Choice picking up the slack.

Newly signed Allen Rossum will get his first action in a Cowboys uniform this weekend as he will return both kicks and punts on Sunday. The return game has been an adventure early on this season and the Cowboys are hoping Rossum can turn it around and give them a new weapon on special teams. ESPN is reporting that having Rossum as an active player puts the Cowboys in a tough situation for the 45 man roster because they will have too many bodies and not enough spots. Safety Mike Hamlin’s broken wrist is healthy enough for him to play on special teams but Coach Wade Phillips is not sure if he is going to activate him. Dallas will use five of their roster spots on special teamers Rossum, punter Mat McBriar, Kicker Nick Folk, L.P. Ladouceur, and David Buehler.

Wide Receiver Roy Williams says he will play but is listed as probable on the injury report. Coach Phillips said he is “concerned for Williams health” and has been playing with discomfort in practice this week due to his bruised ribs. If he is able to go he will be wearing some kind of padding on his boo boo ribs, but I expect to see Roy out there.

Outside Linebacker Demarcus Ware did all the necessary individual and team drills this week but did skip a few because of the stress fracture he is dealing with in his left foot. “We don’t want to overdue it with him,” coach Wade Phillips said. And last but not least we are all tired of the Patrick Crayton Miles Austin controversy. Both will play but Austin surely earned the spot of the number 2 receiver and Crayton will just have to stop whining about how Phillips may or may not have handled it. Wth the team getting stronger lets go out and “Earn” a big win against one of the NFC’s better teams.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 1

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Tony Romo.

With the weight of world on his shoulders, Tony Romo lead his team to a seasoner opener victory Sunday afternoon as the Cowboys dominated the Buccaneers 34-21. Completing 16 of 27 passes, Romo threw a career high 353 yards and ended the day with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Using his various weapons, Tony Romo looked absolutely stunning hitting Patrick Crayton on an 80 yard completion for a TD, another career high. His other two touchdowns were also long, airing out to Miles Austin for 42 yards and Roy Williams for 66 yards.

“You’re not judged off of yards or anything like that,” Tony Romo said. “You’re judged off of winning and losing at this position. I think our team understands that it’s about winning and losing. And that’s what we’re out here to try and do.”

After last year’s dismal season, it was apparent that Tony Romo needed to step up and step up big. The Cowboys still have a long season ahead, but Romo’s performance this week surely removed any doubt that he was ready to lead this team all the way.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to David Buehler.

In his NFL debut, rookie specialist David Buehler shined and helped Special Teams look fantastic something we haven’t seen since… hmm can’t remember the last time actually.

Buehler, a kickoff specialist, had three touchbacks out of seven kickoffs Sunday. Now, its extremely important to note that the Cowboys had zero touchbacks in 2008, and only four total in 2007. The last time the Cowboys had multiple touchbacks in one game was more than a decade ago, in 1998.

Field position can mean everything in a game. Buehler held the Tampa Bay Bucs to an average drive start of 23 yards.

“Everybody got their minds right and came out ready to play. It was good to have a couple of touchbacks in the first game of my NFL career. I felt like I had a pretty good game and did my job,” David Buehler said.

Owner Jerry Jones also bragged about Buehler after the game.

“The guy I feel as good about as anybody on this team is Buehler,” Jones said. “You can see what Buehler can mean with the field position he gave us on kickoffs. It’s great for him because that was our focus. For the first kick he ever makes and drives in the back of the end zone for a touchback, that’s big.”

Now does everyone understand why the Cowboys have three kickers on their roster?

Star50

Congratulations to Tony and David for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Patrick Crayton who racked up 135 yards and a TD on 4 passes, Crayton was also wide open on several plays and could have easily had more yards and/or touchdowns. Nick Folk was perfect accounting for 10 points, including a 51-yard field goal to jump start the Cowboys win in the first half.

Buehler…Buehler…

OK, I know David Buehler’s last name is not pronounced the same way as Matthew Broderick’s famous character in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, but we need to have some fun right? Buehler is also not your normal NFL kicker. Drafted in the 5th round of this past draft out of USC, Buehler wants to put his mark on the NFL.

The Cowboys drafted Buehler to be their kickoff specialist because they went the entire 2008 season without a touchback. Because there were no touchbacks Cowboys opponents starting field position was almost at the 30 yard line. At USC in 2008 Buehler’s 88 kickoffs resulted in 48 touchbacks. Not only is Buehler good at what he does, he backs it up. During the pre-draft scouting combine he turns some heads when he bench pressed 225lbs 25 times. That was more then former USC teammate Rey Maualuga who plays linebacker. Buehler’s 40 yard dash was also faster than other USC linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews.

Don’t be surprised if Buehler kicks short a few times simply because he likes to be involved with things other than kicking. He is a 6-foot-2, 228 pound kicker who likes the contact and goes looking for it. He has been playing on all the special teams units during this preseason and has already totaled three special teams tackles.

“He’s made more tackles than anybody we’ve had so far,” coach Wade Phillips said Tuesday.

While regular field goal kicker Nick Folk continues to recover from off-season hip surgery Buehler may also be called on to attempt some long distance field goals as the regular season gets going next week. So Buelher is more than just a kicker for the Cowboys and he wants everyone to know that.

“I’m just coming in and going with the groove, whatever they want me to do,” said Buehler

“My main job is to be a kickoff specialist. That’s what got me here—but I can do other things.”

“Not playing it (Special Teams) for two years and then trying to get back into it, I’m trying to knock off the rust,” he said. “My body’s not used to hitting. After the (preseason opener), my neck was a little sore. It felt like high school again, the first day in pads.”

Buehler wants to contribute in any way he can for the Cowboys. He wants to be a part of the team, not just the kicker which can be a lonely job sometimes.

“Various guys gave me high-fives after making the tackles,” he said. “That’s what it’s about. It’s a league of respect. You want to be respected by your opponents and by your teammates. The more I can show to help the team, that will gain respect.”

Buehler…Buehler

Information provided by Yahoo Sports.