FRISCO, Texas – Jeff Heath once hit a 49-yard, game-winning field goal in high school, and he received Division I scholarship offers to play soccer.
So he's not a stranger to kicking.
Being notified any hour before the San Francisco game that he might have to fill in for Dan Bailey was a bit of a different story, though.
"They have kind of always joked around with it – but obviously Dan, I don't think has ever even missed a practice since I've been here. So I never thought it'd actually have to happen," Heath said on Wednesday.
With Bailey's back injury holding him out of practice, the Cowboys turned to Heath – not punter Chris Jones – to fill in as their kicker. Oddly enough, the fourth-year safety said he seemed more comfortable with replacing Bailey on Sunday than Jones did.
"We were talking before the game that I might have to kick in the game. Chris was way more nervous about it than I was," Heath said. "I was like 'Dude, you mess around with footballs all day while we're practicing offense and defense.' I thought he'd be a little bit more comfortable kicking."
Heath took all the Cowboys' Wednesday practice reps – which come on the narrow goalposts on the practice fields, rather than the regulation ones. He said he went 3-of-6 on the day, but he argued that his three misses would have been good on regulation posts.
"My consistent range, I wouldn't say is any more than 35 yards – but if it's a game-winner I could maybe push it back a little bit," he said.