IRVING, Texas -- Already the most accurate kicker in NFL history, it’s not like Dan Bailey needed a Pro Bowl selection as validation.
But he’ll take it.
The Dallas Cowboys' kicker was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career on Tuesday.
“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,” said Bailey, who has made 142 of 156 career field-goal attempts. “It’s somewhat of a respect thing. I think Travis (Frederick) or one of those guys mentioned that (Tuesday), and that means a lot. To know that other guys around the league respect what you’re doing and the work you’re putting in that means more than anything. So yeah, there is a little bit of gratification that comes along with that.”
Frederick, who was also voted to the Pro Bowl, said Bailey was “a little overdue” to make one.
Bailey has arguably been the Cowboys’ best player in a 4-10 season. He has made 28-of-29 attempts on the season and has not missed an extra point (22-of-22).
“He makes such a difference,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “We emphasize special teams, the importance of every aspect of special teams, none more important than the opportunity to get points. He’s been so consistent throughout his career for us. 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. He’s had such a cool, calm composure about him, which is critical for that position.”
Bailey’s biggest kick this year likely played a big part in him making the Pro Bowl. He beat the Washington Redskins with a 54-yarder on Dec. 7 on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” which came a week before the players across the league voted.
“I would guess it wouldn’t hurt that’s the only game on,” Bailey said.
But what about Bailey’s only miss -- a 48-yarder at Tampa Bay?
“Looking back, it’s a kick that I know I can make, and really it was just a tough day,” Bailey said. “It was a windy day. That’s going to happen. You’re going to have those kicks [that] on any other day are probably going to go in. 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.”
Now that he’s made a Pro Bowl, he can shoot for a perfect season in 2016.