IRVING, Texas - On Wednesday, Stephen Jones told reporters in Mobile, Ala. the team's goal was to sign Dan Bailey to a long-term deal and described the conversations with his agent as "serious talks."
Apparently they were.
On Thursday, the Cowboys officially signed Bailey through the 2020 season, giving the kicker a six-year contract extension. Bailey was set to become a restricted free agent this year but the Cowboys bypassed all of that, giving him a deal that will pay Bailey a little more than $3.3 million per season. This deal makes Bailey the fifth-highest paid kicker in the NFL.
But the length of the contract will likely help the Cowboys keep his salary cap figure down for a few years, allowing them to have some wiggle room for other players.
Bailey has been a model of consistency the last three years. He made the last 21 field goals of this season and finished the year 28 of 30, including six of seven from 50 yards or more. He made a game-winner against the Giants, giving him seven for his three-year career.
Bailey also improved his kickoffs dramatically in 2013, tying for fourth in the NFL with 52.
The Cowboys decided not to retain kicking coach/assistant special teams coach Chris Boniol, whose contract expired at the end of the season. For now, the Cowboys have not added a kicking coach although it's likely Carlos Polk will be named assistant special teams coach, under coordinator Rich Bisaccia.