Phillips: Why It's Really A 3-Kicker Race

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys now have four kickers in preseason with Tuesday's signing of 11th-year veteran Shayne Graham, but only three realistically have a shot to win the job by Week 1: Graham, David Buehler and rookie Dan Bailey.

The fourth, rookie Kai Forbath, was signed on Aug. 2 and basically stashed on the 90-man preseason roster. The Cowboys liked Forbath coming out of UCLA, but since he's recovering from a serious quadriceps injury, they signed Bailey immediately after the lockout ended instead.

There's no firm timetable for Forbath to resume kicking, but even then he'll need time to knock off the rust. If the Cowboys keep him, he would likely start the season on the Non-Football Injury list.

"I've had one of those injuries before, not quite as bad as his," assistant special teams/kickers coach Chris Boniol said. "Even once you are kicking, you're still not 100 percent. You've got to work your way into it and once you are kicking live you can expect another couple of weeks or three before you're completely free from that injury and regained all of your strength."

Potential's there. But less than three weeks until the season opener against the Jets, Forbath's just not in the mix right now, and won't be for the foreseeable future.

Buehler, meanwhile, expected to do some dry run-through kicking Wednesday as he continues to rehab a hip flexor. Graham and Bailey will split kicks until Buehler, who's day-to-day, returns.

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