IRVING, Texas --As David Buehler returns to practice for the first time in nearly two weeks, the Cowboys are exploring yet another kicking option: seventh-year veteran Dave Rayner, who seems likely to be signed this week.
If so, the Cowboys would have five kickers on their current 81-man roster, which must be trimmed to 80 by Tuesday.
Just waived by the Lions, Rayner made 13 of 16 attempts (81.3 percent) for Detroit last season. He has kicked for six NFL teams since 2005, making 55 of 75 attempts (73.3 percent) with a long of 55, and can kick off.
Last week the Cowboys signed 11th-year veteran Shayne Graham, who made his lone 38-yard try against the Vikings. Rookie Dan Bailey made both attempts from 41 and 37 yards.
Buehler, the frontrunner heading into training camp, had been sidelined by a hip flexor. Rookie Kai Forbath is also working his way back from serious quad injury, but hasn't kicked all preseason.
"I know it's going to come down to the wire," Buehler said. "That's why there's four preseason games, to look at everybody and break down the roster. I'm looking forward to going this game and feeling great."
With four kickers, and quite possibly a fifth soon, it'll be interesting to see who gets those chances in Thursday's finale at Miami.