Dan Bailey's Clutch Kicks Send Cowboys To Win


Sunday, September 18th 2011, 8:08 pm
By: News 9


Corey DeMoss, News9.com

SAN FRANCISCO – Former Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey made the two biggest field goals of his young career Sunday in the Dallas Cowboys' 27-24 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Bailey seemed to put his own job in jeopardy early in the game, when he shanked a 21-yard field goal that would have given the Cowboys their first points of the game. But the game of football often gives players a chance at redemption, and Bailey didn't let his go to waste.

Bailey went a full 52 minutes without another field goal attempt, but was called on with four seconds left in regulation and the Cowboys trailing by three.

He needed to hit a 48-yard field goal to force overtime, and he knew it was good as soon as it left his foot. He pumped his arm in celebration while the ball was still in the air, and his kick cleared the crossbar by plenty to tie the game.

But Bailey wasn't done. After the Cowboys' defense stopped San Francisco on the first possession of overtime, Bailey had another short kick to give Dallas a win. This time the 49ers did try to ice him, but his kick went right down the middle to give the Cowboys their first win of the season.

Bailey was not the only Cowboy to get his shot at redemption. One week after a fourth-quarter meltdown that cost Dallas the game, quarterback Tony Romo responded with late heroics.

Romo left the game in the third quarter with cracked ribs, but returned in the fourth with the Cowboys trailing by 10 points. He played mistake-free football and led Dallas on two scoring drives that tied the game.

He then hooked up with backup receiver Jesse Holley – who was only on the team because he won a reality show – for 77 yards on his first pass of overtime to set up Bailey's game winner. Romo finished the game passing for 345 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.