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Iffy Vanderjagt not a lock to start Sunday

IRVING, Texas -- As angry as Bill Parcells was over
Mike Vanderjagt missing two short field goals in the preseason finale,
the coach said Monday he never considered releasing his new kicker.

Mike Vanderjagt Vanderjagt

But the misses did have an impact on the rest of the roster. And
there's a chance Vanderjagt will miss the opener Sunday at
Jacksonville.

"We'll kick for a while this week and then we'll see what we
got to do," Parcells said Monday.

Worried about Vanderjagt's health, confidence and perhaps both,
the Cowboys opted to keep a second kicker on the 53-man roster.
That was something Parcells hated doing because of the domino
effect it had.

"It probably cost three guys their jobs," Parcells said.
"That's the way it is now. That's the business."

Parcells said he felt he had no choice but to keep backup kicker
Shaun Suisham after Vanderjagt said he wasn't 100 percent when he
missed kicks of 32 and 33 yards in overtime against Minnesota last
Thursday night.

Vanderjagt has been dealing with a groin injury most of training
camp. He was hurt while trying to fix a flaw in the form that's
made 87.5 percent of the field goal attempts in his career, the
best rate in league history.

Parcells said Vanderjagt kicked 50 balls Sunday in hope of
working out the kinks.

"I'm not concerned about his leg strength at all," Parcells
said. "He's certainly making every effort to make any adjustments
that are necessary. Not knowing the player very well, it's
difficult for me to suggest anything to him about what to do."

Parcells said that unfamiliarity also makes it tough for him to
know whether the problem is physical or mental.

"I can't draw a conclusion from the information I've got," he
said. "I could speculate, as anybody could, and I'm sure people
would, but that doesn't mean I would be accurate in that
speculation so I would choose not to do that."