Romo practices as holder

Updated: December 10, 2009, 2:53 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are planning to make a switch at holder, turning to starting quarterback Tony Romo during practice Wednesday.

Romo was the primary holder for kicker Nick Folk, replacing punter Mat McBriar.

Tony Romo
Tom Hauck/Getty ImagesThe last time Tony Romo was the holder, he bobbled a snap on a potential game-winning field goal in the 2007 NFC wild-card playoff vs. Seattle. It was one of the most memorable losses in Cowboys history.

Romo's last hold ended one of the more emotional playoff losses in Cowboys history. He bobbled the snap on a potential game-winning field goal in the 2007 NFC wild-card game against Seattle. Romo then scooped up the ball and was tackled a yard short of the end zone.

The Cowboys are in a first-place tie with the Eagles in the NFC East, and the team is desperate right now to solve a weakness on special teams. Folk has lost confidence in McBriar.

The situation came to a head in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants, when Folk missed a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would have cut the deficit to one. After the miss, Folk yelled at McBriar.

McBriar, who doesn't like to hold, said he missed his spot on the hold, causing Folk to miss-time his kick.

"All the kicks are important. We know that and he knows that," coach Wade Phillips said of Folk. "It's up to the kicker though."

This is the first time that Romo has held since the 2006 season, after which he handed the job off to then-backup quarterback Brad Johnson. When the Cowboys moved Johnson to holder, Phillips said at the time that Romo had retired from that job.

"Well, he had," Phillips said. "Sometimes they have to [come out of retirement]. It's something he's willing to do."

Folk, who made 86.8 percent of his kicks in his first two years, has converted on only 66.7 percent this season. Folk has struggled from 40-49 yards this season, making only four of nine attempts. Prior to this season, he was 17 of 18 from that distance for his career.

"A lot of people know I'm a pretty good kicker, and I'm confident in my abilities," Folk said. "I think it's been an entire operation. A lot of the kicks are my fault, and I will take that. But we got to get better in the whole operation."

McBriar, who is close friends with Folk, was asked if these struggles put a strain on their relationship. With a laugh, McBriar answered: "He hasn't bought me any beers lately."

In practice on Wednesday, Phillips said Romo impressed special teams coach Joe DeCamillis.

"We just feel like we need to do something," Phillips said. "Whether it's the whole operation itself, some of the parts, we've got to get more confidence from our kicker. Or we need to do better, and all of us are for that. It's a possibility we'll make a change this week as far as the holder goes."

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. E-mail calvin.watkins@espn3.com.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NFL HEADLINES