FRISCO - Jason Garrett’s oddly less-than-emotionally-charged Monday press conference hardly reflected the standard enthusiasm you’d think there would come with the afterglow of a Week 4 win at San Francisco that propels Dallas to 3-1. (See our full coverage from the site of the 24-17 win here.)
The funereal mood seemed like it was about the Cowboys coach’s disgruntlement with the DFW media. But had RedBall's mood been driven by a subtle revelation about Pro Bowl kicker Dan Bailey’s status … you wouldn’t have blamed him.
“We don't have anything scheduled right now,” Garrett said when asked about the possibility of Tuesday street-free-agent workouts for kickers to back up the ailing Bailey. “But that is certainly an option as the week goes on.”
Garrett’s attempt to bury the lede here won’t fly. Bailey played on Sunday in San Francisco but struggled due to a back injury sustained during the weekend.
It may be nothing more than having slept wrong in the team hotel on the night before the game, but it was noticeable as the ironman Bailey almost doubled over a couple of times after kickoffs and missed a 47-yard field-goal try.
Said owner Jerry Jones after the game: "We were very concerned before the game. Not surprised at all that he missed the field goal. Thought that was a pretty good time to check it out. Might not have wanted to try another one during the game -- a long field goal. There's no question that he had a limitation there."
UPDATE: Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan, Jerry noted that Bailey may be doing well enough that Dallas' kicker signee, if there is one, might only be for the purpose of getting through the week, and that Bailey might be fine for Sunday's visit from the Bengals.
The Cowboys are already dealing with injuries to a host of standout players, including Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Orlando Scandrick. They are getting Tank Lawrence back this week after a drug suspension and need to do some roster juggling there.
And if they need to get another kicker ready in case he can’t play this week against the visiting Bengals? That’s another roster spot to be dealt with if anyone from vet Robbie Gould, formerly of the Bears, to Matt Wile, Bailey’s training camp backup, to anyone in between, is deemed worthy of a workout and a signing.
But Bailey may be as good at his job as any Cowboy, and as good at it as anyone in football. So yes, Dan Bailey "limitations'' would tend to put anybody in a sour mood.