Dan Bailey will be a crucial player for the Cowboys in 2018, especially if the team really wants to return to the postseason. The kicker will have to find his composure, grace or whatever he needs to find in order to regain his form. If you recall, last season began as usual for Dallas Cowboys and their All-Pro kicker Dan Bailey. From the beginning, everything was just peachy, and in the season opener, Bailey made four field goals which greatly helped the Cowboys to achieve a home victory against the NY Giants. The next week Bailey scored only one FG in the game against the Denver Broncos, and it was his career long with a 56-yarder.
Week Seven was where things started to go a little sideways. Bailey, until that round, managed to complete all seven of his attempts and after the groin injury really struggled to return to his previously high form. The statement to this was the final month of the 2017 season where we all witnessed Bailey missing five field goals and two extra points. This was and still is very unlikely and uncharacteristic for the kicker of his caliber. The road after that was full of ups and downs for both Cowboys and Dan Bailey as well. It was a true roller coaster until the very end, and the game that was a must win one, and in it, Bailey missed two fourth-quarter field goals that could have saved the Cowboys dream of Playoffs.
What was most interesting is the fact that, whenever asked, Bailey always quickly denied that injury played any part in his poor performance. On a couple of occasions, he actually admitted that he is “out of rhythm,” and that was due to his four-game absence, but there is no denying that he wasn’t all the same after he returned from his groin injury. To be strictly professional we will use the FG percentage which actually shows that last season was definitely Bailey’s worst one so far. The stats say that he managed to complete only 75% kicks, even with missing a quarter of the season. Just how bad this season was is shown in the stats from 2016. That year was Bailey’s worst until then, and his career low field goal percentage was 84%.
What is sad is that Bailey has been one of the team’s strengths year after year, ever since he began his career here as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State in 2011. According to the coaches, this guy is a perfectionist in everything he does, and what backs this up are the stats that say that Bailey is currently the NFL’s second most accurate kicker of all-time. If you recall, the kicker position with the team was always the troubling one, with a whole bunch of inaccurate and unreliable players who didn’t make the cut.
All in all, the Cowboys really need Dan Bailey and his deadly accurate All-Pro feet especially if they want to return to the playoffs in 2018. Thankfully Bailey has a great track record of reliability which is why we do not think that there will be any problems regarding his return in top condition for the 2018 season. One thing he and the entire squad has to look out for are injuries, mainly because they have set Bailey back previously and they might do it again. With the chance of sounding rude and ungrateful, I believe that Cowboys should have a sturdy backup for his position, just in case!