OXNARD, Calif. – Dan Bailey's first extra point of this preseason promises to be more interesting than usual.
Assuming the Cowboys score a touchdown during one of the first two preseason games, Bailey will line up for the extra point at the 20-yard line, rather than the three. The change is an experimentation by the NFL to increase the difficulty of extra points, which are converted roughly 99 percent of the time.
Several kickers around the league have expressed annoyance at the idea, which they say penalizes kickers for being good at their jobs. Bailey said he's interested to see how the trial period shakes out.
"Any time they're paying more attention to you for whatever reason, whether it's positive or negative, it's a good opportunity for a learning experience," he said. "I think it'll be interesting to see how the first two games go in preseason to kind of play around with it and see what happens."
The standard length of a PAT is roughly 20 yards, which is a straight-away kick. The added distance puts the kick at about 37 or 38 yards – a more difficult kick, but not necessarily for Bailey. The three-year veteran has connected on 32 of 33 kicks from 30-39 yards out, a 97 percent clip.
But Bailey added that the farther distance should make kickers' approaches to the PATs differ. [embedded_ad]
"I think you'll see a lot of guys moving the ball around, not necessarily right down the middle – usually you put a PAT right in the middle," Bailey said. "I think you might see guys spot the ball on the left hash or the right hash depending on the wind, since it is a longer kick. So it'll be fun to play around with."
The long extra points will only be in effect for the Cowboys' games against San Diego and Baltimore, and they'll revert to the standard length against Miami and Denver. It remains to be seen if the change will transition into the regular season at some point, but Bailey said he gets the idea.
"I understand where they're coming from. Obviously from an entertainment standpoint, or lack thereof I guess – it's not very entertaining, extra points," he said. "I don't know, we'll kind of take it as it comes and see how it goes."