Playoff Push Comes with New Kicker

Posted Dec 26, 2005

The Cowboys will make their final playoff push with a new kicker.

Billy Cundiff, who missed two field-goal tries Saturday against the Panthers, was replaced Monday by Shaun Suisham, who was with the Cowboys for two games in November.

Cundiff missed a 32-yarder before halftime Saturday and a potential game-tying 33-yarder in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the latter miss was wiped out by a penalty, and Dallas went on to score the winning touchdown.

"I just had to do something," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said of the roster move. "You can't live with what's going on right now. You just can't live with it."

Suisham's return is the fifth kicking change of the season. Cundiff had been the incumbent kicker since 2002 before being injured and released in training camp. Jose Cortez won the job before being replaced by Suisham after seven games.

The Cowboys re-signed Cundiff Nov. 19 and released Suisham because they wanted some veteran experience down the stretch.

The move gave them little comfort. Cundiff missed three kicks under 40 yards, including a 34-yarder in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss to the Broncos on Thanksgiving Day that would have won the game in regulation.

Parcells said a lack of confidence in Cundiff began affecting the way the Cowboys called plays, thus affecting their ability to win. With a shot at the playoffs still possible, he said the Cowboys had to make a move.

"I'm excited," Suisham said. "This what I have been working for since I got released. I am back where I want to be. I want to help the team any way I can."

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