Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey made no excuses for his struggles down the stretch of the season.
He didn’t blame a groin injury that sidelined him four games. He didn’t blame difficult playing conditions on the road in New York and Philadelphia.
Instead, Bailey blamed only himself for the worst season of his career. He no longer holds the title for “most accurate kicker in NFL history.”
“It’s not acceptable from my standard,” Bailey said. “Probably not acceptable from their [the Cowboys] standard.”
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Bailey, 29, ended his season on a down note in the Cowboys’ 6-0 victory over the Eagles on a frigid Sunday afternoon in Philly. He was wide left on his only point-after attempt, and wide left on a 23-yarder near the end of the game.
It marked just the second time Bailey has missed an extra-point in his career and just his second career miss from within 29 yards. Bailey had a streak of 273 straight point-after attempts to start his career come to an end earlier this month with a missed PAT in New York. He had made 47 of 48 career field goals within 30 yards going into the game.
Bailey finished the season 15-of-20 on field goal attempts. The 75 percent conversion rate is the worst in his career, almost 10 percentage points down from his previous low of 84.4 percent last season.
All five of his misses came in the final four games.
“I look back on Weeks 1 through 8 and that’s totally on par with what I expect from myself,” Bailey said. “The short term? I’m going to be kind of disappointed. No question I’m going to carry that chip on my shoulder going forward.
“I’ve just got to learn from it and learn how to handle it better going forward.”
Bailey said he’d evaluate his entire season. He would look at the misses and the makes because some of the makes weren’t even up to his standard.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett weighed in on Bailey after Sunday’s game.
“It seemed like he had a pretty good set prior to the game,” Garrett said. “Obviously, we didn’t have two great kicks in the game, and we’ll have to go back and look at the operation. Again, the conditions were not easy for anybody, so we’ll take a look at that.
“Those are missed opportunities for us during the ballgame.”