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Monday, May 17, 2010
Dallas Cowboys' weakness: Kicker

By Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

NFC East Weaknesses: Cowboys (5/17) | Giants (5/18) | Eagles (5/19) | Redskins (5/20)

It could be argued that free safety should be the pick as Dallas’ top weak spot, especially now that they have added Alex Barron to the mix at offensive tackle to fortify that area, but the uncertainty at kicker can’t be overlooked.

Shaun Suisham and Nick Folk
Neither of the Cowboys' kickers last season -- Shaun Suisham and Nick Folk -- remain on the roster.
Last year, the combination of Nick Folk and Shaun Suisham was only 20 of 31 kicking field goals. Both kickers are no longer with the club. The two present kicking options are David Buehler and Connor Hughes, although a veteran journeyman could always be added to the mix.

As kickers go, Buehler is an amazing physical specimen with a monster leg. In his rookie season, he proved to be one of the best kickoff guys in the NFL, which is what he was drafted to do. Buehler has not attempted a field goal in the NFL and clearly is a major unknown in this capacity. He is a long-levered kicker and his get-off time might be a concern, let alone his consistency. But at a minimum, he will be called on to kick the long field goal attempts.

Hughes is much smaller and physically less impressive, but like Buehler, he has yet to even attempt a kick at this level. The Cowboys did hire former kicker Chris Boniol as a consultant, specifically with the intentions of helping Buehler, who is an intriguing project.

One thing that does play in Dallas’ favor this season is the weather conditions. With the exception of a Week 17 game in Philadelphia -- which obviously could be crucial -- the Cowboys don’t appear to have any harsh weather games on the 2010 docket. But in what looks to be shaping up as a very tight division, as usual, every point will be crucial. Like every team in this division, the Cowboys cannot afford to leave many points on the field in the kicking game. And as seen in the playoffs last year, quality kickers are at a bit of a shortage right now in the NFL.