IRVING, Texas -- Remember last year’s final cuts and how the Cowboys were picking among five kickers? Yep, five.
Shayne Graham, Dave Rayner, David Buehler, Dan Bailey and Kai Forbath were on hand, though Forbath was on the physically unable to perform list at the time. Graham got hurt. Rayner missed a kick. Buehler was too inconsistent.
Bailey won the job almost by default, then went on to have one of the best seasons in team history.
No such decision to be made this year. Bailey made all eight field goal attempts in the preseason and had three touchbacks on kickoffs. Eleven of his 17 kickoffs reached the end zone.
“It’s still an area I’m trying to improve upon,” Bailey said. “We’ve worked hard in the offseason to try to improve that. Hopefully this week I’ll get a little rest and be ready for the Giants.”
Bailey had 24 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs last year and the team eventually put Buehler, a kickoff specialist, on injured reserve with a hip injury.
“I worked hard this year to try to improve leg strength and explosiveness, stuff like that,” Bailey said. “It’s a little bit of (technique and power), but really more just strength and getting a good approach down.”