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Even kickers think the NFL is getting soft

Mat McBriar, David Buehler

Dallas Cowboys’ Mat McBriarn holds for David Buehler (18) on a field goal attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. Buehler missed the kick in the Cowboys’ 27-20 loss to the Bears. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)


Complaints from NFL players that the league is trying to take the toughness out of football have been widespread over the last year. But most of those complaints have come from defensive players who were responding to drawing penalty flags or getting their paychecks docked.

Now we have a player who rarely hits anyone making a complaint about the direction NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking the league in: Cowboys kicker David Buehler.

“I think they’re changing the rules too much,” Buehler said on the Ben and Skin Show, via “Football is getting kind of soft with Goodell making all the rule changes and everything like that. Just leave it the way it is.”

Most of the recent rules changes designed to protect players -- banning launching at opponents, protecting quarterbacks and defenseless receivers -- don’t affect kickers. But one change that has a major affect on Buehler is the decision to move kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35. Buehler isn’t happy about that one.

“Kickoffs are one of the most exciting plays in football, so I don’t know why they pushed it up to the 35,” Buehler said. “I understand the safety reasons but a lot of fans want to see the returns. It gets kind of boring just seeing touchbacks all the time. I obviously want that but the ideal fan doesn’t want that. They want to see the run out, the big collisions and everything like that.”

And as a guy who’s not just a player but also a fan, that’s what Buehler wants to see, too.