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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Dan Bailey, David Buehler will split kicking duties

By Tim MacMahon

The Cowboys will release veteran kickers Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner, leaving rookie Dan Bailey and David Buehler to split the duties.

Bailey, the Lou Groza Award winner at Oklahoma State last season, will kick field goals and extra points. He had an up-and-down training camp, but he made both of his attempts during the preseason, making kicks from 37 and 41 yards.

Buehler will be a kickoff specialist, as he was his rookie season in 2009. As the lone kicker on the roster last season, Buehler ranked among the least accurate kickers in the NFL, making only 75 percent of his field goals and missing two extra points. Buehler has 51 touchbacks on 161 career kickoffs and is expected to consistently boom the ball deep into the end zone with the rule change moving kickoffs up five yards to the 35-yard line.

Graham and Rayner were signed to compete for the kicking job after Buehler and Bailey struggled in the middle of training camp. Graham, the third most accurate kicker in NFL history with an 86-percent field goal conversion rate, made his only preseason attempt with the Cowboys. Rayner missed his only two attempts, including an ugly 36-yarder on the final play of the preseason.

Rookie Kai Forbath will be eligible to come off the non-football injury reserve list after Week 6.