Buehler's Confidence Unwavering

IRVING, Tex. - For Dallas kicker David Buehler, the Cowboys' bye weekend was enjoyable, if not ideal in its timing. He and his girlfriend went to a wedding in Fort Worth before heading to Anaheim, Calif., for a couple days of rest and relaxation.

Normally, such a schedule would sound like the perfect respite for any player, especially someone whose position requires as much mental training as physical training.

But Buehler said that while enjoyable, the in-season hiatus was not exactly what he would have picked if he been in charge of the NFL schedule.

"We had a great time, and it's good to relax when you can," he said. "But I'd rather have the bye week later, more in the middle of the season — it's a long season. But I guess when you include the five preseason games, this is pretty close to the middle."

The reason Buehler said the timing of the Cowboys' week off wasn't ideal was because of his performance in the first three games of the season. In the opener against the Washington Redskins, he shanked a short field goal that could have prevented a loss to Dallas's NFC East rival. A week later, in the home opener against the Chicago Bears, he missed again. It wasn't until the third game of the season that Buehler was perfect on field goals, converting both of his attempts. Adding to the positive vibes coming out of the game, Dallas won its first game of the year with a victory in Houston.

Buehler acknowledged that he would have preferred to have another game right away, a game in which he could have ridden the momentum created by his perfect outing against the Texans. With that option not available, Buehler said he went about his business in practice before and after the weekend off, and did his best to enjoy the break in his normal routine.

"I had a good week of practice last week, and I have been kicking well this week, too," he said. "Kicking takes such extreme mental focus that even though it seems early for a bye, it was probably really a good thing. We had a good time going to the wedding, and then being in California for a couple of days.

"It was like I got to be a normal human being for a weekend, a normal American — I watched football."

The fact that the Cowboys stuck with him after his gaffes against the Redskins and Bears is not lost on Buehler.

"Yeah, that helps the confidence, I guess," Buehler said. "But I don't know necessarily feel like I need to redeem myself.

"I missed two pretty important kicks, and I can't afford to miss one like those again any time soon. But the fact that I'm still here shows the team knows what I can do. I'm just going to stay focused, and continue to do what I know I can do."

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