Cowboys kicker David Buehler was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week, when he re-injured his troublesome groin in practice.
I make no secret to the fact that I've found Jerry Jones' obsession over kickoff specialist David Buehler ridiculously maddening. For those that aren't aware, the Dallas Cowboys have kept Buehler on the roster this season while releasing promising position players on several occasions, and despite the uber-success of rookie Dan Bailey. Most notably, the team released fifth round cornerback Josh Thomas, selected in this past April's amateur draft. Of course Thomas was snatched up by one of the other 31 NFL teams that wasn't occupying two roster spots on kickers like the Cowboys are. Coach Jason Garrett would later reveal that the team thought no one else in this pass happy league would be interested in a fifth round corner. Who's calculated risk that was never got publicly revealed.
Other roster moves have been made as the Cowboys retained Buehler, who has been injured most of the year due to a nagging groin injury. In the meantime, the Cowboys found a gem in undrafted free agent Dan Bailey. Bailey has made 20 of 21 field goals, 19 in a row, and all 17 extra point attempts. Last season, Buehler frustrated Cowboys fans by missing eight of his 32 field goals and two extra points. This year, he has been sidelined constantly due to injury.
Buehler as we all know has been kept around, as Jerry Jones claims, because he poses a dynamic threat on kickoffs once the weather turns cold. Never mind the fact that the Cowboys will play exactly one cold weather game this year, week 17 at the Giants. The truth seems, that Jerry Jones doesn't want to jettison one of the only remaining members of the "vaunted" special teams draft of 2009. We all remember that April, when Jones and head coach Wade Phillips claimed that the roster was so stacked it could focus on players with extreme special teams acumen instead of players with the potential to, you know, play.
The Cowboys had an astounding 12 picks in that draft. Granted, it was one of the weaker drafts in recent memory, but the Cowboys swung and missed several times. Here's a rundown of the players selected, in order: LB Jason Williams, T Robert Brewster, QB Stephen McGee, LB Victor Butler, LB Brandon Williams, CB DeAngelo Smith, S Michael Hamlin, K David Buehler, S Stephen Hodge, TE John Phillips, CB Mike Mikens, WR Manny Johnson. To be fair, once you get past the fourth round, the draft is a crap shoot, but there isn't a single starter amongst that group.
Meanwhile, this season, Buehler has been kept around as the Cowboys have released CB Bryan McCann, TE Martin Rucker and the above mentioned Thomas. Is there a fan out there that wouldn't like to see Rucker getting the opportunities of Martellus Bennett? Probably not many at this point.
"Let me just say this: I’m frustrated because you would expect players to… and I understand injury, but he has known all along how to prepare and how to get in shape and how to prepare himself and be ready to be a kicker," Jones said. "Now it’s frustrating to have your kicker injured. So he’s a valuable asset, especially with the rules as they are right now, we’re going to be playing some key away games out in the weather.
"We’d like to have him kicking in them because he is a better kickoff guy than [Dan] Bailey. So I’m very frustrated. It is his job to stay ready to play and prepare himself so those kinds of things for what he’s got to do don’t come up."
Trust me Jerry. You're no more frustrated with Buehler than the fans are with you for sticking with him.