SAN ANTONIO – There isn’t any competition for David Buehler in training camp.
In his mind, he’s competing against himself on a daily basis. In reality, he’s competing to prevent the Cowboys from picking the best available placekicking option after the preseason.
The Cowboys certainly aren’t reaching for the phone to call John Carney or Matt Stover after watching Buehler kick so far in the Alamodome. He has made 13 of 15 attempts through the regulation uprights, including five kicks from 40-plus yards with a long of 51. His misses have come from 39 and 41 yards.
Buehler, who led the NFL in touchbacks on kickoffs as a rookie last season, has one of the strongest legs in the league. But he wasn’t accurate on long field goals in college, making only six of 11 attempts from 40-plus yards during his USC career.
The Cowboys considered Buehler too erratic to rely on after Nick Folk fell apart last season. They hired ex-Cowboys kicker Chris Boniol to be Buehler’s personal coach in hopes of using only one roster spot on a kicker. It’s a move that appears to be paying off.
“I have a whole different perspective on kicking,” said Buehler, who no longer works in other special teams roles. “Chris has helped me out immensely. He’s taught me things I didn’t even see. It’s another set of eyes every day. I had never had formal coaching. I feel like a whole different kicker than I was last year.”