Dallas Cowboys

Should the Cowboys be concerned about Dan Bailey’s training camp struggles?

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey and the special teams in action during the afternoon practice at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on Thursday.
Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey and the special teams in action during the afternoon practice at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on Thursday. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

The Dallas Cowboys have been able to count on kicker Dan Bailey as one of the most stable parts of the team since 2011. But is the veteran starting to lose his touch?

He missed a couple of average-distance field goals during Saturday’s practice, a day after a few other misses. Bailey missed four games in 2017 because of a groin injury. When he returned, he wasn’t the same reliable kicker. In the Cowboys’ final game at Philadelphia, he missed a 23-yard attempt and an extra-point. In fact, Bailey’s stretch of 273 consecutive point-after attempts was snapped when he missed an extra point against the Giants two weeks prior.

Cowboys’ coach Jason Garrett isn’t concerned. But should he be?

“With Dan, it’s the body of work,” Garrett said after Sunday’s walk through. “He’s been such a good player for us for so long. He’s made so many big kicks throughout his career. He’s had a good camp. He’s striking the ball well. I think he had a miss yesterday but I think he feels good about the operation.”

Garrett said the team feels good about Bailey going into the season and chalked the struggles at the end of ‘17 to dealing with the groin injury.

Bailey made 15 of 20 field goal attempts. Two of the misses were inside the 39-yard line, one was between 40 and 49 yards and two were from beyond 50 yards. His 75 percent field goal percentage is the lowest of his career by nine points.

“He’s been such a good player for us for a long, long time. Feel very confident in what he can do,” he said. “A leg for a kicker is like an arm for a quarterback and legs for runners. Dan is such a tough guy that he wanted to get back out there. I’m not quite so sure he was healthy and that can have an impact on how you perform. He’s been as good as it gets in the National Football League the last seven years kicking the football. We feel great about him.”

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