01-26-2006, 06:53 AM
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Cowboys might be interested in Vinatieri
Cowboys might be in hunt for free-agent kicker
By RICK HERRIN
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
MOBILE, Ala. - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to fix his team's erratic kicking problems.
The Cowboys made 20 of 28 field goals last season, but only 10 of 17 from 30 yards or longer.
So could the Cowboys break their past philosophy and shop the free-agent market to find a new kicker?
"Yes," Jones said earlier this week while attending a Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. "Absolutely."
There are several high-profile kickers available. Adam Vinatieri from New England, Mike Vanderjagt from Indianapolis, Ryan Longwell from Green Bay, Matt Bryant from Tampa Bay, Paul Edinger from Minnesota and Todd Peterson from Atlanta are unrestricted free agents.
Seattle kicker Josh Brown is a restricted free agent.
Coach Bill Parcells brought in Bryant before the 2004 season to compete with Billy Cundiff, but Bryant was released after suffering an injury.
Vinatieri was Parcells' rookie kicker on New England's Super Bowl XXXI team. Vanderjagt might not fit Parcells' profile because he does not handle kickoff duties.
The Cowboys used three kickers last season and made four moves before rookie Shaun Suisham, a former member of the practice squad, finished the season.
The kicking woes became a glaring problem and helped contribute to the Cowboys (9-7) missing the playoffs despite a 7-3 start.
Jones said the Cowboys might select a kicker in this year's draft.