K David Buehler will have competition

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
10:00
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Of all the expected cuts we've told you about, here's one that might have slipped by you: Kris Brown.

The Cowboys signed Brown in the last week of the 2010 season with the goal of having the veteran compete with David Buehler for the starting kicker job.

Brown never got to kick for the Cowboys, allowing Buehler to seemingly move into the 2011 season without having to fight for his job.

But not so fast. The Cowboys agreed to a deal with undrafted free agent Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State), who won the Lou Groza Award as the best kicker in the country last year.

Bailey was the fourth-ranked kicker coming out of the draft by NFL Draft Bible, but wasn't projected as a draft choice. In his OSU career, Bailey converted 50-of-63 attempts, and he was 20-of-22 in 2010. He made a school-record 182 consecutive PATs and had only one blocked kick during his career, coming last year vs. Texas.

Bailey can also handle kickoffs.

It will be interesting to see if Bailey and Buehler get into a battle during camp that lasts until the first two preseason games. With NFL rosters expanding to 90 players, the team could bring in another kicker, so the main guy, whoever that is, won't get worn down.

In reality, this might be the best signing for the Cowboys of all their undrafted free agents because it creates competition at one of their most important positions on the field.

Buehler's first year as the full-time kicker can be described as inconsistent.

He made 24-of-32 attempts, but his missed PAT at Arizona resulted in a Cowboys loss. However, Buehler did make game-winning field goals at Indianapolis and vs. Washington.

Buehler was perfect from the 20-29 yards but struggled from 30-39 (4-7) and 40-49 (8-11) last season. He started and ended his season by missing field goals.

He's more than capable on kickoffs, as he has 51 touchbacks in his first two seasons.

Of course, field goals are the key. And adding Bailey to the mix creates a nice training camp battle.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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