12:46 AM CDT on Thursday, October 21, 2010
COLUMN By DAVID MOORE / The Dallas Morning News
IRVING – Joe DeCamillis discussed the state of his special teams for nearly 10 minutes Wednesday and didn't cuss once.
It's unlikely his players will hear the same, sanitized version.
Head coach Wade Phillips identified three phases of the game that the Cowboys must improve heading into Monday night's affair with the New York Giants. Kickoff coverage is on the list.
The Cowboys have gone from one of the best kickoff coverage teams in the NFL to dead last. The average starting point for opponents is the 34.5-yard line, a nearly 14-yard jump over last season's average. The Cowboys have given up kickoff returns of 73 and 95 yards in the last two games.
When Buehler had just one responsibility, he was like the golfer who wins the long drive contest but doesn't have to worry about his short game. He's had to adjust his rhythm and mentality.
This transition reminds DeCamillis of what Brad Daluiso went through when he was with the Giants.
"He was a great kickoff guy who ended up having to kick field goals, and it definitely hurt him for a period of time," DeCamillis said. "Now, did it hurt him to the point where he couldn't kick off anymore?
"No. He got through it and became a dominant kickoff guy again, too."
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