An NBC 5 source has confirmed Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey played the 2016 season while dealing with a herniated disc in his back.
The source said Bailey has dealt with minor back pain since 2014, but the pain increased the week of the Cowboys win against the San Francisco 49ers in early October. An exam following the win revealed the herniated disc, which could require surgery in the offseason.
Bailey will meet with team doctors Monday for the routine physical required of every Cowboys player after the season, and with that exam will begin to determine the best route for treatment in the offseason.
The sixth-year kicker out of Oklahoma State did not sit out of any games because of the back injury, but did miss five field goal attempts during the 2016 season — tied for a career-high. The source said Bailey was still dealing with pain during the Cowboys playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers, a game that saw Bailey go 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts, including two kicks from 50 yards or longer.
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Bailey entered the 2016 season as the most-accurate kicker in NFL history. He passed Rafael Septien for the most made field goals in Dallas Cowboys franchise history in November.