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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.

Miles Austin: The SuperNova

Miles Austin was born on June 30, 1984 in Summit, New Jersey. Miles attended Garfield High School in Garfield, New Jersey, and was a letterman in football,basketball, and track and field. In football he played wide reciever and defensive back, and as a senior he won All-Bergen County honors and All-State honors. In basketball, Austin garnered All-Bergen County honors as well. In track and field, Austin participated in the 100 meter dash, long jump, triple jump, and javelin throw. He recorded the second-longest javelin throw in Bergen County history with a throw of 214 feet, 8 inches. Austin finished third in the long jump and the triple jump at the New Jersey Meet of Champions. Miles Austin graduated from Garfield High School in 2002.

Miles college career took home at Monmouth. In his college career he caught 150 passes for 2,867 yards and 33 touchdowns. He is the school record-holder in recieving yards. He rushed 15 times for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. In 2003 Miles Set a Monmouth single-season record for touchdown catches with 12.

His NFL career started when the Dallas Cowboys signed him as a undrafted rookie free agent. In his rookie year he returned 29 kickoffs for 753 yards and recorded 5 tackles. His main highlight of the year was in the Cowboys playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. He returned 3 kickoffs for 136 yards in the game, including a 93 yard touchdown return. In the 55 postseason games in franchise history, it was the Cowboys’ first ever kickoff return touchdown in the playoffs. Miles caught his first career touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers. In 2008 he had 13 catches for 278 and 3 touchdowns with an average of 21.4 yards per catch.

With the release of Terrell Owens, Miles is expected to start as the No. 2 receiver across from Roy Williams.

When Are Legends Born?

 When Emmitt Smith was drafted in 1990, the first thing I said was “Who is this guy and what the hell is he wearing??”.  All reports said he was too small and too slow to be a feature back in the NFL. Then we all watched him evolve from this kid in the ugly jumpsuit into a Pro Bowler, then an All Pro, a Super Bowl MVP, NFL’s All Time Leading Rusher and in 2010, a Hall Of Famer.

Ever stop to think when is that pivotal moment when a player becomes a legend? Is it after they retire? Is it a particular game that elevates them to the next level?

It seems to happen without us knowing it. Sorta like how your kids grow up right in front of you. They seem to go from playing tee-ball one day to graduating high school the next. Of course you watched it happen, yet it’s all a flash to you now. Or is it just me?

Troy Aikman looked like a fish out of water his rookie year. I personally saw him as a draft bust after that miserable 1-15 season.  I knew this guy couldn’t take Dallas to the Promised Land. He seemed to have all the tools but I wasn’t confident at all in his ability to run a team. Then we all watched him evolve into a Pro Bowler, an All Pro, a true leader, a field general, a Super Bowl MVP,  the winningest QB in a single decade (90 wins in the 90s) and a Hall Of Famer.

Obviously Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are once in a generation players.  But so were Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. All is not lost when the legends retire from the game. Shoes have to be filled. History in Dallas has proven it is not a matter of if they will be filled but when they will be filled.

Today’s Cowboys are no different than the ones of Cowboys’ past. We will watch in disgust and dismay as they make their own mistakes and pay their own dues. We will watch these young men and not even realize that they’re evolving right before our eyes. When the rookies become stars and the stars become legends.

Watching these kids become men and these men become legends is a gift one will learn to appreciate more as the years go by. I know I have.

Legends of the Star – Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin was the greatest wide receiver ever to don the uniform of the Dallas Cowboys. The "Playmaker" as he was sometimes called started out his career playing for the University of Miami, where he was heavily recruited. While he was with the Hurricanes, he set school record for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions. He was part of the Hurricane’s 1987 National Team.
 
In 1988 Irvin entered the NFL Draft and was selected 11th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. In his very first game, he started and caught his first touchdown pass, which was something that hadn’t been done by a Cowboy in 20 years. He immediately became one of the teams best players in his rookie year and he led all wide receivers with a 20.4 yards per catch average. He quickly became one of the most exciting receivers in the league and his ability to make the big plays made him one of the biggest stars in the game. His ability to push off a defender and surpass them with such ease, caused many opposing teams to employ new strategies to try and stop him from beating them.
 
From 1991 through 1998, he was the leagues best wide receiver, and racked up an impressive 10,265 yards in that span. He helped lead his team to four straight NFC Championship games and three Super Bowl titles. In Super Bowl XXVII, he caught 6 passes for 114 yards and 2 second quarter touchdowns that occurred in a span 18 seconds, the fastest pair of touchdowns ever scored in a Super Bowl. In 1995 he had one of the most remarkable seasons ever for a wide receiver when he set team records with 111 receptions, 1,603 yards, and 10 touchdown receptions.
 
Michael Irvin had some scuffs with the law during his playing years and also after he retired as a player, but when he was on the field, there was nobody better. For you trivia buffs out there, Irvin is the only player to play for the first four coaches of the Dallas Cowboys.
 
Irvin finished his career with 750 receptions, 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor on September 19, 2005. Two years later, he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Third Time’s A Charm

 On Saturday, February 3, 2007 Michael Irving became the 10th Dallas Cowboy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the 3rd Cowboy in the last 2 years. This was the third time Irvin made it to the final round of the selection process.

 Michael Irvin, Wide Receiver

1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys – 12 seasons, 159 games

Cowboys’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 1988 draft

First rookie wide receiver to start a season opener for Dallas in more than 20 years.

Irvin’s 20.4-yards per catch average during his rookie year led the NFC

Led league with 1,523 yards on 93 catches in 1991

Had 1,000-yard seasons in all but one year from 1991-1998

In 1995, Irvin played his finest season: 111 catches for 1,603 yards. He also established an NFL record with 11 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.

Cowboys made four straight appearances in NFC championship game (1992-1995) and won three Super Bowls

Finished career with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 TDs

Selected to five straight Pro Bowls

Picked for NFL’s all-decade team of the 1990s

Legends of the Star – Cliff Harris

This week’s “Legend of the Star” is one of the best defensive players in Cowboys history, none other than Cliff Harris. Although Cliff was not drafted in 1970, he was invited by the Cowboys to training camp where he shocked his coaches with his intense style of play. Although the organization had just drafted the highly touted Charlie Waters, the Cowboys surprised everyone in the league when they announced that Cliff Harris would be the starter at free safety for the season opener.

 Cliff Harris single handedly led the secondary with his “all-out” style of play and due to his relentless pursuit of the ball carrier he was soon nicknamed “Captain Crash” by his teammates. His devastating hits struck fear in the hearts of any ball carrier that got in his way. The new nickname became synonymous with his hard-nosed, bone-crushing style of play and many football experts credit Cliff Harris for changing the way the free safety position is played today.

His rookie year was interrupted due to military service, but he returned just in time to help the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins. He continued playing at free safety for the next 9 seasons, and began to compile some incredible achievements while playing one great season after another. He was considered by many to being the most dominating defensive player in the NFL during his tenure. In a stunning decision, he announced his retirement following the 1979 season to pursue his business ventures.

Harris finished his 10 NFL seasons with 29 interceptions, which he returned for 281 yards and 1 touchdown, and 18 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 91 yards. He also gained 418 yards on punt returns and 1,622 yards returning kickoffs.

During his short yet remarkable career, he made 5 Super Bowl appearances and was chosen for the Pro Bowl six consecutive times. He is in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and Sports Illustrated Writers named him their Dream Team free safety. In 2004 he was selected to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor for his contributions to the franchise. He truly was a “Legend of the Star” in every sense and I enjoyed telling you a little about this great Cowboy.

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.