Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey gave credit to his long snapper, L.P. Ladouceur, and his holder, Chris Jones, for winning him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.
“I think it’s just a credit to the whole operation,” Bailey said Wednesday. “I’ve got L.P. and Chris, and then everybody blocking. It just makes my job a lot easier. The comfort level, the trust level we all have to go out there and execute every time just makes it easier. I couldn’t do it without those guys. It’s a lot of fun to go out there and do it.”
But Ladouceur and Jones might be expecting more than a pat on the back. Like jewelry or Gucci travel bag.
“I’ll think of something, but I don’t know that it’s going to be that expensive,” said Bailey, in the second year of a seven-year, $22.5 million deal. “Maybe like a steak dinner or something. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
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Bailey hit all four field-goal attempts, including the 54-yard game-winner with 9 seconds remaining. It marks the second time this season a Dallas player has won a player of the week honor. Sean Lee was NFC defensive player of the week for his efforts against the Eagles in Week 2.
Bailey now has won three special teams player of the week honors, tied with Billy Cundiff and Dwayne Harris for the most in team history.
Bailey has 10 career game-winning field goals in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime. Since 2011, Bailey is the only player in the NFL with at least 10 such field goals.
“We absolutely do not take him for granted,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday. “He’s a great kicker and has been since he has been here. He’s been in that situation a number of times. Virtually every time he comes through. We are not afraid in any way to put him in that situation. We felt like when we got to that point, that we could kick it from there. But we wanted to get closer. We had a couple opportunities on the second-down pass and then on the third-down pass to get closer. One was batted, and another one was a little bit of a missed opportunity for us because of pressure. We wanted to get closer. You don’t want to just put your kicker out there and say, “Make a 54-yarder on this turf in early December in Washington.’ That’s not an easy task. So we wanted to get closer. But when we didn’t, we gave him a chance. And I’ll tell you what, the operation was clean, and the kick was money.”
Bailey has gone 25 of 26 this season. He hit from 38, 34, 20 and 54 yards on Monday night.
Bailey’s only miss this season came on a 48-yard attempt at Tampa Bay, breaking a streak of 21 consecutive.