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Jason Garrett likes kickoff change intent

3/22/2011

NEW ORLEANS -- I caught up with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett as he was headed to a meeting Monday afternoon, and he spoke about the proposed kickoff changes.

"I like the intent," Garrett said. "You can’t argue with the statistics. Now what’s the best way to achieve the goal? I don’t think it's all of the five components out there."

Here's what's being proposed:

  1. Kickoffs would be moved up from the 30-yard line to the 35.

  2. No member of the kicking team would be allowed to line up more than 5 yards back from the kickoff line to prevent sprinting starts at the kickoff.

  3. Touchbacks would be moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20, where it has been traditionally.

  4. Kickoffs out of bounds would be give the receiving team the ball 25 yards from the spot of the kick instead of 30 yards, still placing the ball at the 40 to start a drive.

  5. Wedges would be eliminated on kickoff returns, including the two-man wedge. The NFL outlawed three-man wedges last season.

We've been told some of these proposals might change before the owners vote.

There is an interesting debate about the new kickoff rules, because what's the point of having a kicker with a strong leg, such is the case with David Buehler, if you're going to have fewer kick returns.

"People will vociferously argue on both sides that it helps that guy because everybody says everybody can do it," Garrett said of a kicker who doesn't have a strong leg.

The new rules could eliminate the directional kicking style some teams like to use. Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis likes to directional kick sometimes to pin elite returners in a corner.

The league is thinking of getting rid of the two-man wedge for safety reasons.

"It’s a momentum thing," Garrett said. "A two-man wedge, all those things. It's kinda mixed in a sense incentive wise, because they are talking about the touchbacks come out to the 25-yard line."