Cowboy's Kicker Returns To Ex-Life

Tuesday, October 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Tim Seder couldn't just watch when he went home to Ohio to watch his ``kids'' play.

Seder, the high school coach turned rookie placekicker for Dallas, went back to his former life over the weekend during the Cowboys' only open date of the season.

``I got to do some coaching. I was able to put on a headset and talk to the coaches and tell them what I saw,'' Seder said Monday. ``I also got to work with my offensive line a little bit, putting them through pregame and stuff like that.''

It was the first time in seven months that Seder had seen the ``kids'' at Lucas High in Ashland, Ohio, where he was coaching three sports when he got an unexpected call that would allow him to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL.

``It was hard to go and not get involved,'' Seder said. ``I think they enjoyed it and I know I enjoyed it — to be involved in what they are doing. The kids mean so much to you. That's the thing you miss the most is the kids.''

Seder, 26, had expected to be on the sidelines this season for every game at Lucas, which won 23-10 Friday to improve to 5-2.

Then he got the call last spring from Cowboys kicking coach Steve Hoffman, who was looking for some young talent. He followed up on Seder, who had last kicked at NCAA Division II Ashland University in 1997 and whose videotape had been on Hoffman's desk for two years.

Seder went to Dallas for his first NFL tryout, then won the job in training camp by stepping ahead of the competition that at one point included four other free agents.

He has responded by hitting eight of nine field goals, the last one a 24-yarder in overtime to beat Carolina 16-13 on Oct. 1.

``He's been real steady. He's a guy that takes his job seriously and he's very consistent,'' deep snapper Dale Hellestrae said. ``He's just like a machine. It's nice to see that. He gives the whole team confidence.''

After making seven of nine during the preseason, the misses coming from 58 and 50 yards, Seder came two short of a Dallas record by making the first seven kicks of his professional career.

Seder's first miss was a 48-yard attempt in tricky wind with 1:02 left in regulation at Carolina. He made the most of his second opportunity.

``It's probably one of my better kicks of the year really as far as I hit it. I hit it long and hit it hard, maybe right through the wind,'' Seder said. ``I felt fortunate to have that second opportunity.''

Cowboys coach Dave Campo said the one miss didn't shake the team's confidence in Seder.

``When we lined up before the play that got us to the 6-yard line, we were going to take a shot at the 46-yarder right there. And I was confident that he was going to make it,'' Campo said. ``Tim is so accurate that he knows exactly where to kick the ball.''