Should The ‘Boys Worry Over Folk?

Nick Folk has only had two attempts so far this preseason, from 36 yards and 49 yards respectively.

Folk is also recovering from hip surgery, which he underwent in May to repair a labral tear.

Hopefully, this explains why he has missed both of his tries this season.

In fairness, the second one was close, banging off the upright and from a decent ways out at 49 yards. Granted also, that even though Folk says the leg feels fine, he also will openly acknowledge that it's still not one hundred percent. But until the Arizona product nails one of his patented high flying shots, splitting the uprights, I will be--and I'm vaguely ashamed of this--just a little bit worried.

Folk is 46 of 53 all time, and has been a fan favorite--relatively speaking, of course, as much as a kicker can possibly be a fan favorite--since he burst on the scene as a rookie in 2007 and took the job out from under Martin Gramatica. That year, he became the first Cowboys' rookie to win a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie since Emmit Smith did it in 2009, and only the third Dallas kicker.

Basically, the guy's been phenomenal for as long as he's been in town, and therein, perhaps, lies the problem, the reason why I have a case of the preseason jitters with respect to the usually sure-footed kicker. Because I've been spoiled; but that's only part of it.

The other factor in this nagging bit of worry is the case of Mike Vanderjagt. The former-Cowboy, former-Colt and current-earring enthusiast Mike Vanderjagt was as sure-footed as they come, going the entire 2003 season, including playoffs, without missing a field goal or an extra point--he also had the gall to call out Peyton Manning, but that's another story. He helped send Ben Roethlisberger to his first Super Bowl in 2005 by missing a 46-yarder wide right, at the time an unthinkable aberration for the kicker.

Dallas, of course, signed him, and the rest is wide-right history. Vanderjagt wasn't terrible in Dallas, but he wasn't himself either, missing 5 of 18 attempts in ten games. He was released in November of 2006 and hasn't seen the NFL since. What happened? Was it the miss against Pittsburgh in 2005? The groin injury he suffered in the preseason with Dallas?

No one can say but, maybe, Vanderjagt himself. But the fact is, one year he was really good, and the next he was pretty bad.

It's a mystery, and, if you're one to fret over such things in mid-August, a pretty good jumping off point.

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