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Folk or McBriar? A Kicking Controversy for the Cowboys

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After Nick Folk missed his 42-yarder yesterday, he looked down at his holder, Mat McBriar. I think we all saw how perplexed their two faces were. At first glance, McBriar's hold didn't look to be all that bad. Apparently, it was. He said so, himself, to Coach Phillips.

Today in Coach Phillips' press conference, the first questions asked to him after his general opening statement regarded the placekicking problem.

"Was it a terribly bad hold?"

"That's what Mat said. He said he didn't get it down right," responded Phillips. He also said the laces were turned the wrong way and that Folk "hit" them.

When asked who worries him more, Phillips was not clear on whether to blame the kicker or the holder. What he said concerns him more is the confidence of the two players together in that situation. If it is indeed a confidence issue, it could be addressed by changing holders. But, as Phillips said, McBriar was the best of them when the team worked out holders during training camp.

Make the jump for more.

The other players worked out were WRs Sam Hurd, Patrick Crayton, and K David Buehler. Phillips also mentioned QB Jon Kitna, but said that he had no experience holding before, and honestly he did not sound as if Kitna could even be a holding option.

A reporter also asked whether Phillips considered giving Buehler a try at placekicker. He shot that idea down rather quickly, saying that he is not yet ready to kick in game situations.

"Why?"

"Consistency...being able to make them."

That settles that.

If anyone can fix what ails the special teams, it's coach Joe DeCamillis. This week, he will have his hands full.

Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said the Cowboys needed to look at "the whole operation" and acknowledged a change at holder was a possibility.

"We've got limited options obviously, but we’ve worked with several guys," DeCamillis said. "We’ll just have to see as the week goes on."

DeCamillis said if the Cowboys change holders, he plans to keep that information a secret until the first time Folk attempts a kick Sunday.

"We are not going to tell you who the change will be going in," DeCamillis said. "Maybe it’s Patrick Crayton, we might want Patrick Crayton to run a fake the first play. That’s a competitive situation." DeCamillis stressed that he isn't losing faith in Folk.

In other special teams-related news, here's what Giants' PR Domenik Hixon said about how their return team beat the Cowboys' coverage unit.

"I'd been watching film of [the Cowboys' punt coverage unit] and their gunners had been doing a great job. We decided we needed to start one way and then try to head it back the other direction. If you try to go lateral for too long, you'll be in trouble, but I was able to get vertical pretty quickly against them. Seeing all those blue shirts was pretty exciting."