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Thursday, November 10, 2011
What will Cowboys do with only 3 kickers?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

I kid, of course. It's too bad for David Buehler that his season ended when the Dallas Cowboys placed him on injured reserve Thursday. But carrying two place-kickers and two punters, as the Cowboys have been for the past week, really felt like an inefficient use of the ol' 53-man roster. Dan Bailey, who won the field goal-kicking job in training camp and was handling kickoffs while Buehler was out with an injury, will handle both responsibilities the rest of the way. Meanwhile, as punter Mat McBriar tries to work his way back from his leg injury, they'll keep Chris Jones around in case they need him to punt this week.

In fairness, they do lose a little bit by replacing Buehler with Bailey for kickoffs. Here's Todd Archer:
Buehler had nine touchbacks on 18 kickoffs and the opponents' average starting point was the 20.4. Bailey, who took over in Buehler's absence, had six touchbacks on 24 tries and the opponents' average starting point is the 22.3.

So it could cost them a little bit in terms of field position. But Bailey's certainly not killing them there, and considering the value of the roster spot Buehler was eating up, this move should help the Cowboys' ability to be more flexible going forward if and when they need to address positions like wide receiver and linebacker due to injuries at those spots. Keeping Buehler and Bailey on the team never made much sense when they were cutting people like Tashard Choice.