Cowboys getting their kicks?
Perhaps the most curious pick Dallas has made so far is the sixth-round selection of USC kicker David Buehler. The son of former Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns offensive guard George Buehler, Buehler is a terrific overall athlete. He's a little over 6-1, weighs 227 pounds, has been timed at 4.56 in the 40 — an absurdly fast time for a kicker — and outlifted two of his three heralded linebacker teammates, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews, in the bench press at the NFL Combine. He also has been a productive kicker, albeit in limited experience. He hit 9-of-13 field goals in his senior season, and 26-of-33 in his career, with a career long (as a sophomore) of 49 yards. He also connected on 65-of-66 extra points last year, and 117-of-120. The 2008 first-team All-Pac 10 honoree's future might be as a kickoff specialist, because he gets excellent elevation and hangtime. But the question remains: why did he get drafted? The Cowboys have a young, talented kicker in Nick Folk with a cannon of a leg. He has been to a Pro Bowl, has been exceptionally effective and won't turn 25 years old until November. Buehler is a talented guy who is a legitimate NFL candidate. But while his 40 time and his bench press reps might make for interesting fodder for broadcasters, those are not assets teams seek in their kicker. Folk can handle kickoffs, and surely has the placekicking job locked up for the foreseeable future, meaning Buehler's selection makes him an insurance policy or perhaps a candidate for the practice squad.
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