The debate whether to keep two kickers on the 53-man roster has ended, at least for this year.
The Cowboys have placed David Buehler on injured reserve after the third-year kicker re-aggravated his groin. That's the same injury that kept him out of action for five weeks already this year.
With the extra roster spot, the Cowboys re-signed veteran guard Daniel Loper, who was practicing with the team on Thursday.
With Buehler on IR, it means rookie Dan Bailey will likely handle all of the kicking responsibilities, including kickoffs. Bailey had just six touchbacks in four games as the kickoff specialist. Buehler, the much stronger-legged kicker of the two, had nine touchbacks in four games.
Whether he's had to kick off or not, Bailey has been a model of consistency here of late, making 19 straight field goals, the third-longest streak in franchise history.
By placing Buehler on IR, the Cowboys now have just four specialists on the 53-man roster, with Bailey, long snapper L.P. Ladouceur and two punters – Mat McBriar and Chris Jones.