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December 16, 2012

Bailey closing in on club record for game-winning kicks but says mark does not mean much to him

Dan Bailey’s next game-winning field goal for the Cowboys would be the seventh of his career, tying a club record held by Rafael Septien. Bailey, who made a 40-yard field goal as time expired in Sunday’s 20-19 victory over Cincinnati, has needed less than two seasons to approach a mark Septien set over nine seasons (1978-86).

What does it mean to Bailey, a second-year pro from Oklahoma State, to be within striking distance of a franchise record?

“Not much, really,” Bailey said. “It’s just a number. It’s my job to go out there and put them through, as best I can, regardless of the situation. Records like that, I really don’t put much stock in those. It’s just a number at the end of the day.”

But it’s a number that resonates with coach Jason Garrett, who has watched Bailey connect 23-of-23 field goals this season inside of 50 yards. For his career, Bailey is 38-of-39 on kicks from inside 40 yards.

“He’s a great kicker and has been a great kicker,” Garrett said. “We have a tremendous amount of confidence in him to go out in those situations and win the ballgame for us. We’ve done that a number of times. And he’s seemed to come through virtually every time.”

The one exception was a 51-yarder that stayed wide left in a 31-29 loss at Baltimore on Oct. 14. Bailey said he’d love to have that kick back but does not dwell on the misses or the makes after they’re in the books.

He also would like a shot at breaking the NFL record for longest field goal, currently 63 yards. But that’s not the ultimate goal. What is?

“A perfect year on field goals, no question,” Bailey said. “It’s cool to kick a 60-plus yarder. But if you’re perfect on field goals, you’ve probably helped your team out in a lot of other ways than just kicking a long FG.”

_ Jimmy Burch

 

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