With Dan Bailey wearing the star, the Cowboys kicking game is viewed now as a unit of strength. It was a long hunt, but after numerous tries Jerry Jones found his man in Dan Bailey. This is no small thing for the Dallas Cowboys on a competitive level.
Each year a team can only bring so many players in for an extended look. To give a player a look ultimately they get “snaps” or “reps” in practice. This ties up coaches and field time as well as the players themselves. There is a dollar value for usage in salaries and structural overhead as well as the most valuable aspect of time. The quote “there is only so many hours in a day” is especially true when a team is hunting for a position. Throw in the value of a roster spot if you’re carrying more than one player for a position and amplify when you are forced to carry two kickers and you get an idea of how expensive it was for the Cowboys to keep searching for an answer to the kicking game.
Enter Dan Bailey. Let’s cut to the chase. ProfootballFocus.com rated Bailey as the fourth best kicker in the league for 2013. Bailey gets it done on kickoffs and field goals. He rates near the top in every critical criteria even nailing six out of seven over 50 yards and an overall accuracy of 93.3% going 28 for 30.
Think about the above numbers just a moment. Bailey missed two field goals all year. The position had been a hot mess since 2008 when Nick Folk went 20 of 22 for a 90.9%. Folk dropped to 64.3% going 18-28 the same year Buehler was brought on board to handle kickoffs in 2009. Buehler took on field goal duties in 2010 going 24 of 31 for 77.4%, hardly an upgrade over Folk. Bailey grabbed the job in 2011 going 32 of 37 for 86.5% and has never looked back.
Have to hand the Cowboys front office credit. Once they found their man, they locked him down with a six year extension that runs through the 2020 season that a few at the time lamented due to the Dallas cap situation. When you consider the amount of resources the Cowboys spent over a three year period for a one man position it was money well spent.
What say you Cowboys Nation?
Another Left Coast Cowboys Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over