Dan Bailey is the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, but the fifth-year veteran has never made a Pro Bowl. He was left out again this year when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced, much to the chagrin of the Cowboys.
“He does what he does as well as anybody we have in our organization does what they do,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s really, really good. Obviously, he’s contributed a great deal to us winning games around here. We’ve put him in situations where he has to come up with big kicks to help us win games. I can name a number of them off the top of my head. Outstanding kickoff game. Just as reliable, as consistent and plays as high a level as anybody we have. He certainly in my opinion is the best kicker in football and has been for the last few years.”
New England’s Stephen Gostkowski and Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri are the two Pro Bowl kickers. Vinatieri has not missed this season, going 28-of-28 and is third in the NFL in points scored with 131. Gostkowski leads the league in points scored with 147 and is the second-most accurate kicker this season, going 32-of-34.
Bailey is 22-of-26 with misses of 52 and 53 yards. He also has had two blocked field goals.
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“It’s one of those deals every year there’s plenty of guys who are deserving that don’t make it,” Bailey said. “I’m fortunate enough to where I still get the opportunity to come to work every day and do what I like to do. Maybe one of these years it’ll work out. You can’t really argue with the guys who are going. Vinatieri hasn’t missed one this year and Gostkowski, even if he does miss some, he kicks 40 every year. It’s tough to argue there. That’s a good thing. If the competition is tough, that means everybody is doing well. So I think that’s a good thing overall for our position. It’s kind of a good measuring stick to see where you stack up against those guys.”
For his career, Bailey has made 111 of 124 kicks, with his 89.5 percentage the NFL’s second-best career mark. The NFL’s career leader, based on a minimum of 100 attempts, is Baltimore’s Justin Tucker. Tucker, a former UT standout, has made 95 of 106 career attempts, an 89.6 percent success rate.