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DallasMorningNews: Rookie kicker will take his shot


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Anyone care to wage how long he'll last with Parcells? I'm sure he'd like to have Novak back.

04:35 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 26, 2005


By MATT MOSLEY / The Dallas Morning News

IRVING – Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday that he’s been “held hostage” by the kicking game before. He went through so many kickers with the Giants in 1985 that he couldn’t recall the number.

Now Parcells finds himself on his third starting kicker since the beginning of training camp. Rookie Shaun Suisham (pronounced swee-ZUM) from Bowling Green is the latest in what could eventually become a long line of kickers this season. He replaces Jose Cortez, who was cut earlier this week and signed by Philadelphia.

Suisham has spent part of the season on the club’s practice squad. He went to training camp with the Steelers and connected on his only field goal attempt, a 46-yarder, in the preseason. On Wednesday, Suisham found himself surrounded by reporters.

“I know what’s expected from me,” said Suisham. “And I expect that from myself, too. I’ve been hoping to get this phone call, and thankfully I did.”

Parcells was also asked about his decision to go with a rookie long snapper this season. The Cowboys released veteran Jeff Robinson at the end of training camp in a money-saving move. His replacement, Jon Condo, was released after the San Francisco game. And Condo’s replacement, L.P. Ladouceur, struggled against the Seahawks on Sunday.

“I think the long snapper is going to be OK,” Parcells said. “I really do. I think he has pretty good ability, but again, he’s a young inexperienced guy, and there’s going to be some things you have to live with.”

Arizona coming to town: Parcells said he’s attempting to move past last week’s emotional loss to the Seahawks. He has talked to his players about how important it is to reach the midpoint at 5-3.

“I told the team that it’s a very, very important time for us right now,” Parcells said. “And I mentioned it after the game. I’m trying to get everybody in the right frame of mind to respond. But I can’t tell you whether they will.”

Problems in the red zone: Parcells said he’s hopeful the Cowboys can improve on their performance inside opponents’ 20-yard line.

The club reached Seattle’s 9- and 12-yard lines in fourth-quarter possessions of Sunday’s game but only came away with three points.

Asked why he’s confident the team will improve, Parcells said, “I just think we have enough weapons. We have a tall receiver. We have a tight end. I think we can run the ball. I would say we miss [Patrick] Crayton a little down there because he’s a good inside guy, but we’ll see.”

E-mail mmosley@dallasnews.com

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