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Cowboys kicker Vanderjagt tells his side of the story

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Nick Eatman does some nice work covering kicker Mike Vanderjagt in a new article. It's helpful to Eatman's cause that Vanderjagt is such a chatty guy at the golf course - is that the beer cart again? No, we're not accusing him of being a "liquored-up kicker", we're just saying the guy likes to talk. Like ripping his old boss, Colts president Bill Polian.


"Well the president of Indianapolis decided for himself what the kicking situation should be like and he didn't really go on facts," Vanderjagt said. "I've already asked (head coach Bill) Parcells to not let that carryover to here. I said, 'Let's base your decision on whether I can kick off on whether I can kick off.' I feel like I can. I'm certainly not top 10 in the league, but I'm not bottom 10 either."

OK, we'll give you a shot in training camp. Maybe you got the leg, maybe not. How's it going so far?

Vanderjagt said he practiced his kickoffs last week with special teams coach Bruce DeHaven.

"(He) tells me we've got 10 guys that are going to go crazy and run down there and cover kicks - so just stick it down there and we'll get it done," he said. "I'm looking forward to showing everyone that it's really not that big a deal. I don't necessarily want to do it, but I don't not want to do it either."

Uh, what? Dude, just lie to us and say you want to do it. We'll feel better. At least I'd think you're giving it 100%.

Anyway, who cares as long as hits the FG's. Eatman covers a lot of stats about Vandy's kicking over the years. I love the debate over Vandy's kicking outdoors vs. indoors. Texas Stadium isn't exactly the Meadowlands, I mean were talking about a dome with a giant hole in it.

After Vandy finishes ripping Bill Polian again, he says that he and Peyton are good buds, even though Peyton dropped the "idiot, liquored-up kicker" name on him.

"Peyton and I get along great. That's another myth, too. When I signed in Dallas, Peyton called and congratulated me. We truly have a good relationship. I'm going to miss them. But I'm going to be excited to see them on Nov. 19. I'm ecstatic to be a Dallas Cowboy."

Mickey Spags puts the smack-down on any talk of moving Greg Ellis.

Greg Ellis is a Dallas Cowboy. Greg Ellis will be a Dallas Cowboy. Greg Ellis is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Period.

I have to agree they won't move him. Because that opportunity passed at the draft. OK, enough on the past, what about now? Jerry Jones needs to sell Ellis on playing a reduced role, because Parcells loves Spears and Canty and is going to play them, a lot. So Ellis is facing a new role; back-up end/4-3 end. A great luxury to have, if he's happy in that role.

Of course, this could be much ado about nothing. Ellis has always been a model citizen in Dallas, so even if he's unhappy, he'll probably play as hard always and end up with a handful of sacks this year.