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Dan Bailey is as good as it gets

9/4/2014

Dan Bailey has made 57 of his last 61 field goal attempts over the last two seasons.

He wasn’t always automatic.

When the Cowboys played San Francisco in 2011, Bailey was a rookie kicker playing in his second game. He wasn’t sure he’d make it to a third game after missing a 19-yard kick in the first quarter.

“As I was walking back to the sideline, I thought I was going to get cut the next day,” Bailey said. “But [punter] Mat McBriar talked to me on the sideline and told me I’d get another chance and not to worry about it.”

Bailey certainly redeemed himself. He made a 41-yard kick as time expired to send the game into overtime and set up receiver Jesse Holley’s heroics.

Holley’s 77-yard catch and run set up a 19-yard field goal in overtime as the Cowboys beat San Francisco 27-24.

Since then, Bailey has made four other field goals with less than 5 seconds remaining to either win a game or send it to overtime. He’s made three game-winning kicks in overtime.

“You really take the same approach with every kick,” Bailey said. “I’m not a really technical kicker. I have a routine, but I don’t agonize over it.”

Just so you know, after missing that short field goal against San Francisco, Bailey made 26 consecutive field goals.

“It was surprising when he missed that kick against San Francisco, but we didn’t question him,” Jason Garrett said. “We had really good feelings about him because we had a lot of different kickers in training camp that year.

“He was so consistent physically and emotionally that we didn’t worry about him. He came back and made a big kick at the end of the game to send it to overtime and another to win it. He’s made us look pretty good.”