There was a day when kickers did more than just boot field goals and try to stay out of the way on kickoffs, but that was also the time when Don Draper and his pals smoked with the frequency that people Twitter. We'll debate which is worth for public health at another time, and instead focus on the way the Cowboys are dialing up the wayback machine with David Buehler.
Buehler's already made a name for himself by playing on punt coverage teams, he made two tackles against the Raiders, and, at 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, looking nothing like a kicker. His profile is only going to grow after the 50-yard dash that closed Tuesday's practice.
Buehler tired of taunts from defensive back DeAngelo Smith about how he didn't do anything during practice and challenged him to a race. Buehler won going away, even after slowing down for a little Usain Bolt-style preening toward the finish line. After the race, Buehler admitted that this is nothing new for him.
“I did this at junior college at Santa Ana,” Buehler said of racing skill-position players. “I gained some respect from the brothers, if you will. That’s who wants to race me, so I get out there and compete.”
What can we learn from this, other than the fact that Buehler didn't take any media training at USC? Well, it would seem that the issues in the Cowboys secondary may be more serious than previously imagined if Smith can't outrun a kicker, even one as athletic as Buehler. Maybe Uncle Wade should give him a look at safety?
The other lesson of David Buehler's day out is that he's going to be very popular around Cowboys Stadium if he can keep doing what he's done thus far. Everyone enjoys an unlikely hero, and there's nothing less likely than a kicker who actually contributes something to the team more than five or six times a game. Or, stated another way, a football player who also happens to kick on occasion.