Bailey Honored To Have Consistency Pay Off With Pro Bowl Nod

IRVING, Texas – Dan Bailey was already home from work when Jason Garrett called to tell him he'd made the Pro Bowl.

The ensuing celebration was vintage Dan Bailey.

"Honestly, I just hung out the rest of the evening, didn't do anything special, really," said the Cowboys' newest Pro Bowler.

It's a fitting answer, considering how much the Cowboys have benefited from Bailey's consistency and coolness under pressure. Through the ups and downs of the past few years, Bailey's reliability has been one of the few constants during seasons of ups and downs.

"He's been so consistent throughout his career for us," Garrett said on Wednesday. "He's been such a big part of what we're trying to get accomplished. You know, he's a clutch player, a clutch performer, the number of game winning, game-tying field goals he's had over the course of his career is outstanding."

This season has been impressive, even by Bailey's lofty standards. He was already the most accurate kicker in NFL history when 2015 kicked off, but his staggering conversion rate of 96.6 percent this year has bolstered that.

With 142 makes in 152 career field goal attempts, Bailey's career average now sits at 91 percent.

"Yeah, I mean it's a good milestone in a sense, more than anything it's just the fact it was voted on by other guys around the league," Bailey said. "It's somewhat of a respect thing. I think Travis or one of those guys mentioned that yesterday, and that means a lot."

There are plenty that would argue that Bailey's impressive seasons in 2013 and 2014 were good enough to merit him a selection, and fellow Pro Bowler Travis Frederick is apparently among them. Normally soft-spoken, Frederick was direct when asked about his teammate getting the call.

"I think that's a little overdue for Dan," he said. "He's been such an integral part of this team and such an asset to this team. When Dan goes out on the field, there's no doubt in any of our minds that he's going to make it. To us it's second nature. 'Dan's here, let's go. It's done.'"

Bailey has kicked 51 total times for the Cowboys this fall – 29 field goals and 22 extra points – and only one of those has missed. The lone miscue was a 48-yard field goal attempt on a breezy day in Tampa on a kick he said he knew he could make.

"You're going to have those kicks, and on any other day are probably going to go in," he said. "You can't focus too much on that. You'd love to have it back but it just gives you something to keep working for, I guess."
It's hard to imagine any amount of work improving on what Bailey's managed to accomplish this season. That said, it'd seem unwise to bet against Bailey, given his track record. Asked if he took his kicker for granted, Garrett agreed with that assessment.

"Oh, I don't know that we take him for granted," he said. "We appreciate him. He makes such a difference."

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