Entering his third season in the NFL, Cowboys’ kicker Dan Bailey has become a model of consistency on a team where consistency comes at a premium. He hit 29 of 31 field goals in 2012 for a 93.5 % success rate--up eight percentage points from his average in his rookie season of 2011. All told for his NFL career, Bailey is 61 for 68.
But the Oklahoma State product believes there’s always room for improvement, and he’s spent the offseason tweaking his approach while maintaining the same general mechanics that led to such success thus far.
“You’re just trying to fine tune or tweak this or that,” Bailey said, per ESPN Dallas. “Just a half step here or there, a little different angle into the ball. But at the same time, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
As ESPN Dallas points out this week, two years ago, Bailey was one of a handful of kickers vying for the job, along with guys like David Buehler, Dave Rayner and Shayne Graham. Bailey won, of course, and he’s now the only one of the group left, but he believes that experience was ultimately a positive one in teaching him about preparation.
“What helped me mentally in that area was my first year here and it was like every man for himself, so you just had to go,” Bailey said. “It was, ‘Here’s your opportunity and this is what you need to do.’ I think that helped me a lot now where I just try to focus on myself.”
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