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Dan Bailey tops list of Cowboys’ best special team players

The rarely get any glory on the gridiron. In fact, more often than not, they are only heard about when something goes terribly wrong.

But over the 63 years of ' , four players have made their mark when the and have been on the sidelines.

Mr. Automatic

For the majority of his time in Dallas, was as close to being automatic as a can be.

When his time in Dallas came to an end in 2018 he was the second-most-accurate kicker in history (88.2%). He is still the Cowboys' leader in field goals made (186), consecutive field goals made (30) and consecutive extra points made (275).

Dan Bailey
Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

In 2015 he was named to the after hitting 30-of-32 field goals (93.8%).

The year before he connected on all 56 of his extra-point attempts. He didn't miss a single point-after from his first attempt in 2011 through his final attempt in 2016.

Mr. Versatility

spent his first four seasons in the NFL playing backup to . But rather than stand on the sidelines and hold a clipboard, White made himself useful.

He was the Cowboys' from 1976 until 1985 when Mike Saxson took over the full-time punting duties.

In 610 punts, he only had five blocked.

He finished with a career average of 40.1 yards, allowing only 12.1% of his punts to go into the endzone. His punts inside the 20 were a solid 23.6%.

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But his biggest asset to Dallas was the threat of him running or passing out of the punt formation.

Unfortunately, the NFL didn't keep stats on how many times White extended a series that way.

Close-range Assassin

Nine years for a placekicker is a pretty long haul. After his rookie season in Los Angeles, arrived in Dallas and kept the job from the 1978 season through the end of the 1986 season.

He was a perfect 4-for-4 on point after touchdowns and made his only field goal attempt in the XII loss to the Steelers.

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Septien was an impressive 88% on his field goal attempts inside 40 yards, hitting 118 of his 134 tries. Unfortunately, once he got outside 40 yards he was far from automatic.

He hit only 36 of 74 attempts between 40-49 yards (48.6%) and was a woeful 8-of-18 (44.4%) beyond 50 yards.

In 1981 he was named to the All-Pro team and the Pro Bowl. Still, he'll earn his spot here.

Prime Time

We have to get a returner on the monument, don't we? And we have to get Prime Time on one of our monuments too, don't we?

So here's where we carve out a place for .

In his five seasons in Dallas, Prime returned 89 punts, four of them for touchdowns. Those four scores lead the Cowboys all-time in that category.

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He averaged 13.3 yards per punt return during those five years, nearly three yards a return better than his overall career average.

His longest return went for 89 yards in 1997.

He had two punt returns for a touchdown in 1998.

The Cowboys rarely used him to return kickoffs, however. He had seven overall for an average of 19.4 yards. He did not score a touchdown on a kickoff return as a Cowboy.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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