He started out as the quiet, rookie kicker who was anything but a household name. But after making six field goals Monday night against the Redskins, including the game-winning kick to lift Dallas to an 18-16 win, which followed two clutch kicks to beat San Francisco the week before, Dan Bailey is certainly making a name for himself.
The rookie from Oklahoma State was recognized by the league on Tuesday, being named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Bailey becomes the first Cowboys' place-kicker to win the award since Nick Folk won it after his game-winning kick in Buffalo back in 2007.
However, the Cowboys have now continued their streak to six straight seasons of having at least one Special Teams Player of the Week winners. Last year, cornerback Bryan McCann won the award for his impromptu punt-return touchdown against Detroit. Other recent winners include Patrick Crayton, Felix Jones, Sam Hurd and Mat McBriar.
Bailey was also one of the five rookies up for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award.
These good fortunes are quite a turn for Bailey, who missed a 22-yard chip shot field goal in San Francisco that seemed to cloud his future at the position. Instead, he's made eight straight kicks, including a clutch 47-yarder to force overtime against the 49ers, and then a 19-yard kick to win in overtime, along with six straight against the Redskins.
Bailey set a franchise rookie record with six field goals against the Redskins, one short of Chris Boniol's seven made kicks in 1996 against the Packers. Ironically enough, Boniol is Bailey's kicking coach.