Leading up to training camp 2010, Blue-Star takes an in-depth look at the Dallas Cowboys' special teams.
The Good: The Dallas Cowboys helped themselves last season with the fifth round selection of David Buehler out of USC. Buehler blasted a league-high 29 touchbacks last season, and proved that he wasn't afraid to make a tackle or two. One could guess as much with a quick look at Buehler, who resembles a safety more than a kicker.
Along with Buehler, former Pro Bowler Mat McBriar ensured that Dallas was always in a good position. The Australian punter pinned opponents within their own 20-yard-line on more than half his punts--the only punter in the league to do so--or 38 of 72, to be exact. He posted just three touchbacks.
The Bad: Dallas entered the season with full confidence in Nick Folk, but it became clear by December that a change was in order. The position has been a question mark ever since. Shaun Suisham was unimpressive in his stint with Dallas, and the team let him go as a result. Now, Buehler is slated to take over place-kicking duties, a role he hasn't filled since college.
The Future: For good or ill, the Cowboys have complete confidence in Buehler. That said, they won't let things get out of hand if things turn south for the California native. There are still several options out there, including Lake Highlands product Matt Stover, who played last season for Baltimore.
Even if Buehler loses his job as place-kicker, he will remain on as the kick-off specialist. With he and McBriar, Dallas will remain formidable in the field position battle. This leaves placekicking as the only real question mark going into 2010, but it is an admittedly large one.
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