last year, but that was after he had spent the whole season working almost entirely on kickoffs. His mechanics surely weren't as good as they will be now that he's spent all spring and summer working on things.
The Cowboys did spend money to fix the kicker position this year, bringing on Chris Boniol as a part-time coach. Also on the roster is 26-year-old rookie Connor Hughes, but he's not as much competition for Buehler as he is an insurance policy in case of injury, or Buehler's absolute failure.
It's a symptom of a long off-season, but the same question keeps getting asked, and the hand-wringing hasn't stopped. Even though Stephen Jones has said it's Buehler's job to lose and Jerry Jones essentially said the same, that answer hasn't satisfied everyone. But what else would you expect the Joneses to do? They've had terrible luck with kickers. It's a frustrating position. Even the best of them are liable to go in the tank, inexplicably and all of a sudden. The Cowboys are throwing their hands up, and it's the exact right thing for them to do at this point.
If Buehler can make at least 75 percent of his kicks while keeping his touchback rate up, then this decision has got to be viewed as a success. That's no worse than what the Cowboys have already been getting on field goals, and he's a built-in weapon in the battle for starting position.
He's going to miss a certain percentage, but they all will. Buehler's leg strength on those kickoffs allows the Cowboys to chalk up his misses as simply part of the game, something they might as well stop worrying about.