The Cowboys are the only NFL team that plans to make two kickers active on game days.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t consider that a negative. He prefers to focus on how David Buehler, the fifth-round pick in 2009 who had a roller coaster season as the Cowboys’ lone kicker last year, can help the team as a kickoff specialist.
Never mind that the value of kickoff specialists was diminished significantly when the league’s competition committee voted to move kickoffs up five yards to the 35.
“I really feel like Buehler is quite a weapon for us,” Jones said during his regularly scheduled appearance Tuesday morning on KRLD-FM. “He can and will with that strong leg that was the reason we drafted him put that ball in and through the end zone on kickoffs. That’s a big deal. That will give us field position. You start them on the 20 every time and that’s a tremendous advantage.
“Now, other teams are going to be doing the same thing, but we’ve got a strong-legged kicker that will get it.”
Jones indicated that the decision wasn’t whether Buehler, who could also play other special teams roles, deserved a roster spot. It was whether the Cowboys needed to keep another kicker for field goals and extra points. They opted to go with rookie Dan Bailey, releasing veterans Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner.
Buehler was 24-of-32 on field goals last season, ranking 30th in the league in accuracy. He had costly misses from 44 yards or shorter in four losses, including an extra point in Arizona, and made game-winners against the Colts and Redskins.
“It was kind of a flip of the coin for us,” Jones said. “As we looked to last year, [Buehler] made some significant field goals for us and missed some field goals for us. I think we’ll be OK. We had good competition and I’m pretty sure that given the opportunity that we’ll be successful there.”