For a large part of the year, we thought Dan Bailey had more than ice water running through his veins. His composure on kicks, and cool attitude brought new life to our kicking game. And Dan “The Ice Man” Bailey was one of the things that went right this year.
It seemed like nothing could phase him, and his 26 consecutive kicks showed that very little actually did. For a rookie, Dan Bailey made 32 out of 37 kicks (89%). Nothing I nor any coaching staff or fan can complain about.
More about Dan “The Ice Man” Bailey after the break.
The downs of his year include a controversial icing from Jason Garrett (although research shows that icing kickers from that distance makes them more accurate) and being iced by the other team only to have Jason Pierre-Paul with his gorilla-long arms reach up and block it (that was the snappers fault he didn’t keep his head down).
To make matters even better, Bailey came in as an UFA; off the street. Our scouting department did well in finding an award winning college kicker. This kid won the Lou-Groza award, which is given to the top kicker in the nation, and Bailey also received the 2010 Big 12 Conference Special Teams player of the year.
This kid is special, and I think #5 is going to have a nice long career with the Dallas Cowboys. The only downside is that his leg strength is not as solid as David Buehlers, who could knock it into the endzone literally every play. Well, there is another downside, but it plagues all kickers. I call it NMS. “No Muscle Syndrome”. Matt Mcbriar’s ‘Foster’s, Austrailian for beer’ gut could smash any one of Bailey’s arms or legs right in half.
If Bailey can go 90% year in and year out, I’ll send him some protein shakes to make up for the NMS disease, or I could ignore it all-together. It’s quite a relief to have a consistent kicker again; just one more piece of the puzzle that will lead us to the Lombardi Trophy again.
One high point of Bailey’s year in Dallas was the Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. A chance for Leon Lett, the man who played literally hungry, to get some sort of redemption from the Ice Bowl. When Romo drove the ball down the field, and there were seconds left on the clock, I had a sudden epiphany that I was completely comfortable with Bailey taking the game winning field goal. There was no stress, no finger nail biting, no crossing fingers, praying the rosary or last second deals with our maker. There was just Bailey and the uprights and he knocked it through. Someone get that kid some anti-freeze, because whatever is in his veins is much cold that ice water.