IRVING, Texas -- At the NFL owners meetings next week in Orlando, Fla., the future of the point-after attempt will be discussed.
The New England Patriots have proposed moving the PAT back to the 25-yard line. The Competition Committee is also proposing using one week in the preseason games as a test case for PATs from the 20. Earlier in the offseason commissioner Roger Goodell suggested the tries need to be changed because they are close to automatic.
“I definitely can see where he’s coming from,” Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey said in January after signing a seven-year extension with the team. “I can’t say that it doesn’t make sense to me, but at the same time I think it’s really just a matter of how you look at it. There’s just a million different examples you can argue that point. For me it’s like a handoff or maybe a center-quarterback exchange. To me and to most people, they feel like it would seem like an automatic thing, just handing the guy the ball, but as we all know that doesn’t always go smoothly. There’s fumbles and botched snaps. That’s just one example. I feel like if it was as automatic as everybody implies, I feel like we’d all be out of a job because everybody would be able to do it. I don’t think that’s the case. I understand where it comes from, but obviously I disagree on a couple of fronts.”
Of the 1,267 extra points attempted in 2013, only five were missed. One came against the Cowboys when Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh sliced a PAT wide with 5:40 left in the game. Instead of a four-point lead, the Vikings had a 23-20 advantage. The Cowboys eventually won with a touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left.
Bailey has not missed a PAT in his career, making 123. He’s among the most accurate kickers in football, and could become the most-accurate in NFL history in 2014 once he has enough attempts to qualify for the spot.
If the PAT is spotted at the 25, that would be the equivalent of a 42-yard field goal. From 40-49 yards, Bailey is 27 of 29. His only two misses were memorable: the “ice the kicker” game against the Arizona Cardinals, and Jason Pierre-Paul’s block, in back-to-back games in 2011. He has made 17 attempts in a row from 40-49 yards.
If the ball is at the 20, that would be the equivalent of a 37-yard field goal. Bailey has made 32 of 33 tries from 30-39 yards. His lone miss was a 35-yarder last year against the St. Louis Rams.St. Louis Rams