Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley Folk
On Wednesday, we wondered aloud whether the Dallas Cowboys knew Pro Bowl kicker Nick Folk was about to have hip surgery when they drafted USC kicker David Buehler in the fifth round. My suspicion was that they had to know it was at least an option, but a Cowboys source told me that's not the case.
Tuesday's surgery on Folk's right hip "came out of left field," according to the source. The hip injury was reportedly bothering Folk the final five weeks of last season, but the club thought a couple months of rest would do the trick. Folk is expected to be healthy in time for training camp, but at least the Cowboys have a Plan B now.
If Folk's healthy enough to handle the place-kicking duties, Buehler will likely be the kickoff specialist and holder. And since I've read a lot of people criticizing Folk's kickoffs the past couple seasons, you should know former special teams coach Bruce Read asked him to do a lot of directional kicking. Folk has a powerful leg, so I don't think it would be that difficult to turn him into a decent kickoff man. If you're going to carry a kickoff specialist to the games, the goal would be at least 30 touchbacks per season.