When NFL Europa folded the other year, it eliminated some roster exemptions. Consequently, many teams now carry just one kicker in training camp and preseason, although some teams still opt to include a "camp leg" to share the August work load. Each year there are usually several teams where the job is open to competition. Those teams typically have two kickers, or in rare instances three kickers for awhile. This year's Dallas Cowboys have gone way beyond that. As this is written, they have five kickers on the roster. Who knows... by the time you read this, it could be six or seven.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett:
"We just kind of want to play out this battle, and see these guys kick in games."
Cowboys kicking coach Chris Boniol:
"I want to win games, and I want the ball to go through the uprights every single time. That's why we have a true competition here. Those guys are battling every day. It's stressful. It's mentally and physically a grind. But that's what kicking in the NFL is sometimes, so they're going to have to earn it this year."
David Rayner, the most recent addition to the fivesome:
"I talked to them yesterday and they're pretty excited about me coming in, so I'm just going to try to win the job.... This is a first, we have like a starting five. We can get a basketball team going. But that's obviously going to change in the next week or so. Hopefully, I'm not one of the ones that leaves."
Shayne Graham, who was signed last week:
"I know I'm better than the game I had with the Redskins. The rhythm, the timing wasn't there. I just think about the things that I need to do right, not so much what I did wrong, what I need to fix, but what I need to do to do things right. So that's what I focused on during my time -- kicking well and hitting the ball strong, hitting the ball solid. I'm confident. I know what I can do. I know I'm better than what I showed."
Kai Forbath, who was just placed on the reserve non-football injury list:
"It was an offer I couldn't turn down. They've been taking great care of me here and trying to get me back as fast as possible. They said, 'We want him here to rehab and we're not going pressure him to kick next week.' And it's better than being at home rehabbing and not getting the same type of equipment, treatment and care that I'm getting here.... It's been a little frustrating having to sit and watch all the guys, but my time will come."
Dan Bailey, who was signed just after the lockout ended:
"It's just a reminder that you need to keep working hard and stay focused on what you're doing. You can't let other stuff like that distract you. If anything I think it's been a good thing for all of us, to keep us all focused. Competition's good for everybody."
David Buehler, who handled all the kicking for the Cowboys last year and kickoffs in the prior year:
"I think I've done enough, but I've been out for two weeks so that doesn't help my cause. I understand. Competition is competition. Coach Garrett pushes that. There is competition at every position. Who knew Dre [Andre Gurode] would get cut?... I'm thinking I'm a Dallas Cowboy all the way."