- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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SAN DIEGO -- Jason Garrett’s game management has been scrutinized heavily since he took over midway through the 2010 season.
On Sunday, Garrett chose to let Dan Bailey attempt a 56-yard field goal in the second quarter. When the kick was no good, it left the San Diego Chargers with a short field to kick a field goal of their own.
The Cowboys’ defense had forced punts on San Diego’s previous two possessions, but Garrett chose not to attempt to pin Philip Rivers deep with a punt.
“We had the wind and we have a lot of confidence in Dan Bailey,” Garrett said. “We felt like we were real close to his range to be able to make that kick. I think he got it there. He just missed it a little bit left. It’s always an aggressive decision there. We felt like it was important to try to take advantage of that opportunity with one of the best players we have.”
Bailey made his kicks from close to that distance in pre-game warmups and the wind was in his favor.
“It’s one of those deals where all three of us need to be perfect, especially from that distance,” Bailey said. “I didn’t feel like the operation was like I wanted it. Obviously the kick didn’t go through.”
The hook gave Bailey misses in consecutive games for only the second time in his career. He had misses from 53 and a block from 47 against Arizona and the New York Giants in Weeks 13 and 14. He missed from 35 yards against St. Louis last week.
He made both of his 50-yards this season (51 and 53 yards at Kansas City in Week 2)
“We’ve been working on that in practice,” said Bailey, who is seven of 12 from 50-plus in his career. “I feel like some of the work I did in the offseason kind of carried over this season as far as leg strength goes. I was confident and I’m sure Rich [Bisaccia] and Jason were confident. Just unfortunate we weren’t able to put points on the board.”