Dallas Cowboys Position Reviews:
Dan Bailey is one of the NFL’s best place kickers and the Cowboys have a decision to make
By Matthew Postins
Cowboys 2013 Position Review: Kicking Game
RattleandHumSports.com is breaking down every position group for the 2013 Dallas Cowboys. Today it’s the kicking game.
Placekicker: Dan Bailey; Punter: Chris Jones
Other notable players: L.P. Ladouceur (long-snapper)
In 2013: Dan Bailey was darn-near perfect on field goals in 2013. He went 28-of-30 on field goals, missing one against St. Louis and missing one against San Diego. That means Bailey made his final 21 field goals of the season. He kicked five against Green Bay and three each in four other games. He failed to kick a field goal in just one game, coming against Chicago. He also made all 47 of his extra points. Bailey was the fourth-most accurate kicker in the NFL in 2013, and in his three seasons in Dallas Bailey has made 90.8 percent of his field goals, missing just nine. Also, he has set the franchise record for most game-winning field goals in a career. It’s not possible to ask Bailey to do any more. Chris Jones’ first full season as a punter saw him put together a solid season, averaging 42.6 yards per punt (gross) and 40.6 yards per punt (net). He put 30 of his 77 punts inside the 20 and had just six touchbacks. His punting yardage put him in the middle of the pack in the NFL, but his punts inside the 20 were in the Top 10 by season’s end. As for L.P. Ladouceur, it was another season of perfect snapping, as the Cowboys did not have a snap issue on kicks or punts.
Looking ahead: Bailey is an unrestricted free agent in 2015. That likely means the Cowboys will be able to keep Bailey for 2014, but it’s not a lock. The Cowboys will soon face the decision as to whether to let Bailey go as an unrestricted free agent in 2015 or sign him long-term. Jones is under contract for 2014, comes cheap and should improve on his performance in 2013. Ladouceur is entering the second year of a five-year contract that pays him more that $5 million during the deal. That sounds like a luxury for a long snapper, but the Cowboys pay for Ladouceur to not make mistakes and that’s what he does.
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