An area of a team that is often unnoticed unless it is a problem is place kicking. The kicking situation for the Cowboys has been in turmoil for the last few years. In fact, the Cowboys have never had a kicker for longer than three years since Rafael Septien (1977-86). Now, that is not to say that they haven’t had good kickers in that time, but they just haven’t hung around longer than three years (Elliot, Boniol, Cundiff, Folk…etc).
But, one of the quiet surprises so far for the Cowboys this season has been the emergence of place kicker, Dan Bailey. Bailey is putting together quite a nice season. He has 19 straight field goals for the Cowboys and is 19 of 20 on the year. Bailey’s lone miss came against San Francisco on a 21-yard attempt, that he redeemed later in the contest with a 48-yard game winner.
Despite the success, Bailey isn’t resting on it, “That’s the nature of the league: There’s always somebody wanting your job,” Bailey said. “There’s competition every day, so it’s definitely not time for me to slack off or relax. I’m going to keep working and keep making my kicks.”
Bailey’s kicking coach, Chris Boniol, holds the team records for longest streaks (27,26) but those could be in danger if Bailey keeps up his form.
It is an unfamiliar situation for a Cowboys team that has lacked any kind of consistency at the position over the last few years. Bailey was originally brought in to provide competition for David Buehler, who was given the job last year but struggled.
Bailey was a standout in college. In 2010 at Oklahoma State, he went 24 of 28 on field goals and 65 of 66 on extra points and earned the Lou Groza award for top college kicker. He also won the Big 12 Conference special teams player of the year. But that wasn’t enough to be given an automatic job in the NFL.
Bailey signed with Dallas and came to camp this summer eager to prove himself. When Buehler went down with an injury, Bailey did little to distance himself in practice or games and the Cowboys turned to a veteran to provide more competition. Dave Rayner came to camp, but he was also unable to show any consistency and the Cowboys entered the season with Bailey as their kicker.
The move paid off. In week 3, Bailey kicked 6 field goals and accounted for all of Dallas’ points in a critical 18-16 victory over rival Washington. This last week, Bailey again hit two more field goals to aid in the Cowboys victory over the Seahawks.
While the season is only half over, head coach, Jason Garrett and, special teams coach, Joe DeCamillis have to be ecstatic over the production they have gotten from Bailey. I know Cowboys nation is pleased