Only in Dallas: Cowboys sign K Dan Bailey to six-year extension

1/24/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Dallas Cowboys, as usual, are facing a very tight salary cap situation this offseason. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones' aggressive spending constantly gets the team in binds, forcing them to free up money in the way of contract restructures and cuts. This offseason, there are rumors of players such as DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin being released due to the Cowboys' salary cap situation.

"It'll limit you," executive vice president Stephen Jones said of the team's financial situation on Wednesday. "At the same time, I think we can manage to get through it, get what we need to get done and get better. ... I think we'll always manage through it, but we're still in a tight situation after coming off the penalties (the Cowboys lost cap space from overspending in the uncapped year) and things like that. We're still up against it."

Jones is right about the team being "up against it," as the Cowboys are expected to have to shed about $25 million to get under the cap this offseason.

Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) on the sidelines during the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsGiven their difficult salary cap situation, you would think that the Cowboys would be prudent in their spending. On Thursday, however, the team dished out a large sum to an unlikely player - kicker Dan Bailey. According to multiple reports, the Cowboys and Bailey have agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $22.5 million. The deal includes $7.5 in guarantees and will keep Bailey in Dallas through 2020, as he had one year remaining on his previous contract.

There is nothing wrong with signing a kicker like Bailey, as the 25-year-old (who will turn 26 over the weekend) has gone two consecutive seasons making over 93% of his field goals. He can kick long balls, as well, as he was 6-for-7 on field goals from 50+ yards in 2013.

There is no problem with the talent that Dallas has locked up with this deal, but the timing is questionable. Bailey had another year left on his previous contract, so the Cowboys could have waited until next offseason, where it is hard to imagine their salary cap situation being any worse than it is now (they are currently the most cap-strapped team in football).

The Cowboys may have several problems with their roster and coaching staff, but at least they won't be missing many field goals.
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