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December 16, 2012

61-yard field goal? Dan Bailey felt confident he could connect

ARLINGTON -- Dan Bailey trotted out to the Dallas Cowboys’ star at midfield with intentions of attempting a 61-yard field goal with 32 seconds left. The Cowboys and Steelers were tied 24-24 at the time, and a field goal would all but seal the victory.

Tony Romo was all for it, and Bailey felt good about it even though his career-long is 51 yards. After all, a stiff breeze towards the east end zone favored him and he had connected on lengthy warmup field goals.

"I was confident," Bailey said.

But a missed field goal would have left the Steelers with great field position and a chance to make their own field goal at the end.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spent a timeout to make the decision and opted to punt the ball.

"The desperation yard line for us, with the wind, was the 42," Garrett said. "We looked at each other and said, 'What do you think ... probably not a good idea.' In that situation, if you miss it, you give them a real opportunity to go score the other way real quickly."

Bailey understood the decision and eventually got his chance to kick the game-winner -- from 40 yards closer. He drilled a 21-yarder in overtime that lifted the Cowboys to a 27-24 victory.

It was Bailey’s second straight game-winning field goal and seventh of his career, tying him for the club record with Rafael Septien.

“I don’t put much stock into the record part of it or anything like that,” Bailey said. “We needed this win. It’s tough to get wins in this league and any way you can get a win is good in my book."

-- Drew Davison

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