Despite the uproar from the fan base, the move to release fan favorite Dan Bailey is indicative of a fresh mindset from the Dallas Cowboys.
Word got out pretty quickly on Saturday afternoon. The Dallas Cowboys decided to cut all-world kicker Dan Bailey. To be sure, it was a surprise to everyone. And judging by my social media feeds, the move was wildly unpopular. Hey, I’m not particularly thrilled about it myself. In a league where three points here or there decide so much, it is a bit perplexing that the Cowboys would let a proven commodity like Bailey walk out the door.
But if you’ll allow me to be a counterintuitive jackwagon for a moment, perhaps this is for the best. Sometimes it’s best to rip the band aid off, so to speak. For one, if we’re taking season-by-season splits into account, Bailey’s accuracy dropped off pretty drastically last year. He did miss four games due to injury, so it’s probably safe to assume he was fighting through it when he did play.
Furthermore, I can’t sit here and tell you that any one miss cost the Cowboys a chance at the playoffs last year. Bailey didn’t do himself any favors in the Seattle game, but in the grand scheme it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This is no indictment of the man himself. By all accounts, he was the consummate teammate and not merely considered a kicker by his contemporaries. The man was voted a team captain, after all.
But there’s probably not another sport in which a player can lose “it” as quickly as in professional football. And to that end, you can be almost certain that there were many spirited debates among Cowboys’ brass regarding that very thing. They probably measured every metric they could while coming to their conclusion. Even then, it was likely the final decision they made in cutting down to their 53-man roster.
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Also, don’t discount the eyeball test. If we’re being clinical in our approach, there was something that just didn’t seem right about Bailey when he did play last year. Whether that can be attributed to the maladies he was fighting is anyone’s guess. There’s probably more than a bit of truth to that. But remember, there were rumblings through this training camp that he wasn’t up to snuff. Once those get going–and once the coaches and front office see that–whispers have to start about cost cutting and whether or not they can get comparable output from another player at a lesser cost. Emotion must be removed from the equation when making such decisions.
Make no mistake, this is what happened here. This is the emerging mindset at The Star, and we as fans should be encouraged by it. Sure, it’ll cost us a few fan favorites here and there, but the release of Dan Bailey signifies that the days of sentimentally holding on to players for past achievements are officially over. If you didn’t believe it with Dez Bryant, believe it now. This is how winning franchises are built, and we need to be ready to embrace the change.
Of course, the uproar might turn into an outright dumpster fire if new kicker Brett Maher shanks a chippy to win the game next Sunday in North Carolina. But from the top of the organization on down, everyone has to be prepared for that. Losing a stalwart like Dan Bailey isn’t easy for anyone. My friends and I would only half-jokingly refer to him as “our best player”. But long term success rides on the shoulders of moves like this. It’s been a bit refreshing to see the Cowboys finally get with the times.
- Published on 09/03/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 09/03/2018 at 11:15 AM