Cowboys hosting internal kicking contest

There's word from Valley Ranch that Nick Folk and David Buehler will compete for the place-kicking job in Cowboys practices this week. Folk has missed six of his past nine attempts, prompting the club to call on its kickoff specialist, Buehler, to provide competition.

"They have to do what they need to do," Folk said. "I'm ready for it. I'll take it like I did a couple of years ago."

Special-teams coach Joe DeCamllis explained why it wouldn't be easy to simply sign a kicker off the street, although former kicking coach Steve Hoffman had some success with that strategy.

"Give me an answer [about] who we can pick up that's out there right now that's not in the same situation that Nick's in right now," DeCamllis told reporters. "Jason Elam, he's missed however many and he got waived by Atlanta. If those guys are out there right now, they've had struggles. [Ex-Washington Redskins kicker Shaun] Suisham missed two here. The same situation, everybody is dealing with it.

"You just have to keep plugging through it and try to work yourself through it as much as you can. Has it hurt us? Yes, it's hurt us. We just got to keep working the process and try to get the guy better for what he can do. He's been very successful in this league."

It seems unlikely that Buehler will be able to shake off the field-goal kicking dust and be ready for action against the Saints. Perhaps this competition will provide a spark for Folk, who had been one of the league's top kickers in '07 and '08.