Buehler Unlikely to Face Much Competition for Placekicking Job
We recently discussed the importance of the Cowboys securing a reliable field goal kicker this season. Whether that player is David Buehler, Connor Hughes, or a veteran, the impact of a kicker on a team’s win total cannot be understated. We concluded the difference between a solid kicker and a sub-par one to be over a win per season.
Oddly, the Cowboys appear to have a somewhat unjustified confidence in Buehler to win all the kicking duties. The team will not bring in another kicker (in addition to Buehler and Hughes) unless they absolutely must do so.
To the knowledge of everyone outside of the organization, Buehler has yet to do anything significant to earn all kicking duties. Of course, that is why we have training camp, but it is unusual for a team to place so many eggs in the basket of an unproven player without a reliable backup plan.
Now, the Cowboys do also have Hughes on the roster. Presumably, they are hedging their bet on one of their two kickers performing well enough in training camp to become the regular season field goal kicker.
Buehler’s spot on the roster, of course, is safe due to his strong leg. It would really aid the Cowboys if he can win all kicking duties so the team acquires an “extra” roster spot.
Either way, determining Buehler’s ability to kick field goals will be crucial for the Cowboys during training camp. If they are not completely confident in Buehler, securing a proven kicker is probably the smartest move. Yes, they will “lose” a roster spot, but that loss will be more than made up for by two facts:
- A superior field goal kicker could make a vital difference in multiple games throughout the course of a season. That is unlikely for the 53rd player on the roster.
- Don’t forget that Buehler will be able to play special teams again if he is only a kickoff specialist. Thus, the downside of carrying two kickers will be limited.