The Cowboys had a few pointed questions coming into the 2010 season, but few thought that the field position battle would be an issue from week to week. But alas, here we are.
In 2009, teams facing the Cowboys had an average starting field position of the 22.8 yard line, second best among NFL teams, and kicker David Buehler led the league with 29 touchbacks.
This season, the Cowboys have been noticeably less adept in matters of field position. With opponents averaging a starting field position of the 26.7 yard line, the team ranks 29th in the league in terms of opponents’ field position following a kickoff. Buehler has just three touchbacks on the year, which may be a result of his doubling as the team’s place kicker.
The Cowboys’ coverage on kickoffs is certainly one of the reasons for their struggles with field position in 2010. Dallas has allowed five returns of more than 30 yards this season, and, last week, a 73-yard return and a penalty gave the Tennessee Titans a field that measured all of five yards. As you may assume, they scored three plays later, for the game-winning touchdown.
The troubles have confounded special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
"It's probably the last five years every place I've been what we've done the best," DeCamillis said, per the Dallas Morning News. “To give that up at the end of the game like that it breaks your back and it broke our back. If you back them up you've got a chance to win the game. You don't know that, but we gave it up [Sunday]."
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