- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is not a fan of trick plays and it doesn’t sound like he will be going for two even after the recent point-after attempt rule change.
Dan Bailey’s trusty right leg is the biggest reason why. Bailey has never missed a field goal attempt from 33 yards -- the new extra point -- in his career.
“We’re fortunate that we have a really good kicker, and our whole battery with the snap, hold, and kick has been excellent for us through the years,” Garrett said. “[Bailey] is someone that we have a lot of confidence in. If you've followed our football team, I think you've seen us demonstrate the confidence in Dan Bailey, and he's come through for us over and over and over again. So, we feel good about his ability to make 33-yard field goals as extra points, so we give him every chance to do that.”
Bailey’s accuracy certainly helps Garrett make the easy call, but he knows there could be more difficult calls later in the season. The Cowboys play December road games at the Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills.
In the cold and wind, a 33-yard extra point attempt might not be the “gimme” it is inside AT&T Stadium or other warm-weather stadiums.
“For the most part, I think our approach will be pretty similar to what it's been,” Garrett said.
Since Garrett took over as the coach full-time in 2011, the Cowboys have converted four of seven 2-point tries but did not have a conversion attempt last season. The 2-point conversion could be a larger part of the game plan this season.
“If you're in a situation where you're going for two, it's a significant play in the game so it's always something we spend a lot of time on,” Garrett said. “In all of our red zone work, we always finish with a 2-point play. We’ve always thought very thoroughly about our 2-point package. So, that's a big part of our thinking all along. But it might enter into it a little bit more. We'll see what the unintended consequences are of this new rule.”
The biggest change that Garrett sees in the extra point is how teams defend the 33-yard try.
“One of the things we talk to our team about all the time and emphasize is your PAT rush team says a lot about the identity of your football team,” Garrett said. “We watch it together as a team, and we make sure that everybody is getting after it, that we’re rushing hard and the character of our football team is represented by that play. So, it's always been something that we've emphasized, and we'll certainly continue to emphasize it going forward."