The kicker position in the NFL is an afterthought for most fans. They get praise for their makes, but always get blasted for their misses. The Dallas Cowboys understand the importance of the position. That’s why they signed their kicker, Dan Bailey, to a seven-year extension in January. In my book, Bailey is the best kicker in the NFL.
Bailey has only missed 10 field goals since entering the league in 2011; only four of those misses came over the past two seasons. He also has 11 made field goals over 50 yards in his career. He’s made 68 percent of his attempts from that range.
Dallas traditionally hasn’t really put a lot of money behind this position. The last kicker they paid big bucks to was Mike Vanderjagt. The most accurate kicker in NFL history apparently forgot how to kick when he came to the Cowboys. He went 13-for-18 during his 10-game Cowboys career. His 72 percent accuracy rating was the lowest he’s ever put up.
Bailey might be on the verge of being linked to Vanderjagt again this upcoming season. He has a career percentage of 90.8 percent. Vanderjagt holds the all-time accuracy record at 86.5 percent. He needs 11 more made field goals to take over as the league’s most accurate kicker.
During his short time in the league, Bailey has eight game-winning kicks for the Cowboys. Just imagine where this team would be without his clutch kicking.
The Cowboys did the right thing by locking him up for the future, but I’m sure most of the league would have done the same. If he keeps up this stellar play, he will get his recognition as the best in the NFL.