Welcome back to another edition of the Countdown to Kickoff Series. We're officially only five days from the regular season, and I don't know about you all, but I feel like this offseason flew.
While I hope these next five days fly by as well, I'm pumping the brakes for now because I have to reveal to you all who the Greatest #5 in franchise history was.
Looking at the six players who wore the number, I quickly realized there was one player who stood out by a mile, as the others were guys who didn't stick with the franchise for a while or are currently playing–and they haven't made a name for themselves yet.
To sum it up, this player got the nod today because he was someone who came through in the clutch when needed, and of course, he was the most impactful guy for the number.
Yes, he may have had his miscues from time to time, but there was a point when he was the most-accurate kicker in NFL History, so he deserves his flowers. Also, I still question why the franchise got rid of him.
So without further ado, let's welcome Mr. Dan Bailey to the stage.
Dan Bailey's Football Career
I can't preach enough how good the Dallas Cowboys Scouting Department and the front office have been when it comes to going after undrafted free agents over the years. I mean, their track record speaks for itself.
When we talk Bailey, he was another gem the franchise found following the draft, and you could argue he's a Top-10 UDFA All-Time in Cowboys History.
His NFL career began in 2011, as he was signed to compete with David Buehler, Shayne Graham, and Dave Rayner during the preseason. After a strong preseason, Bailey quickly took the starting gig–and the Boys entered the regular season with a rookie at the helm.
Although a rookie, Bailey showed little-to-no signs of inexperience as he converted 86.5% of his FGs (32-37) and 100% on XPs (39-39). From there, Bailey would compile multiple seasons of a 90-plus FG percentage and be perfect for extra points until 2017, when he would miss two.
If you had to ask me what my favorite thing about Bailey was, it would have to be his reliability from deep and also because I had him in fantasy during those years. But, in all seriousness, Bailey was a guy that I knew who would be making bangers from deep, and it's a shame the franchise moved on from him.
Bailey played for the Minnesota Vikings following his departure from the Cowboys in 2017 and put together two modest seasons–before getting cut in 2021 after posting the lowest-field goal percentage of his career (68.2%). He's also currently a free agent.
Although he showed a decline towards the end of his career, Bailey was a guy the franchise relied on heavily during the 2011-2017 seasons. To this day, Bailey is No.2 all-time in Cowboys History for FG percentage & XPs made.
Congratulations to Mr.Bailey for being the Greatest #5 in franchise history, and thank you for all clutch kicks and near-perfection in XPs. I can only hope I don't have to live through kickers missing kicks and XPs again because if I do, I will have to reminisce about all the good times Bailey brought.