FRISCO - The Cowboys are having some fun with the idea of safety Jeff Heath as their “emergency kicker’' -- but nobody really thinks it’d be very fun for him to kick in a game. So …
Dallas continues to hope Pro Bowler Dan Bailey heals up from back soreness that developed last weekend while in the team’s Bay Area hotel and is examining the idea of “emergency kickers’’ who are actual kickers.
“It was kind of fun for the whole team,” Heath said of his mid-week practice effort at one of his old high school positions. “Coach (Jason) Garrett was back there chirping me a little bit. All the guys were trying to get me to miss. It was fun!’'
Heath once kicked a 49-yard field goal as a senior back home in Michigan to win a playoff game for Lake Orion High in 2008. And he was actually good during Wednesday’s workout, making 3-of-6 between the skinny uprights on the goalpost and insisting that all six kicks from 35 yards out would’ve been good on standard goalposts.
"My consistent range, I wouldn’t say, is any more than 35 yards,’’ said Heath, who was also a soccer star in high school. “(On a potential) game-winner, you could push it back a little bit, I think.”
Again, though, the Cowboys have no intention of actually having to do this. The idea surfaced last Sunday before the win over the 49ers when Bailey was ailing, and all involved recalled that Heath could kick a bit — and placekick better than even punter Chris Jones. “Most of the guys, punters and kickers, can kind of manage the other way,’’ Garrett said. “But he’s not really a great option in that regard.’'
Nor, really, is Heath.
So this Sunday against the visiting Bengals? Dallas hopes Bailey is ready, is prepared to give tryouts (an idea we reported on Tuesday) to the likes of NFL vets Robbie Gould and Kai Forbath and others, and may find itself with more than one kicker on the 53-man roster that morning, depending on Bailey’s health.
And once you get beyond the uniqueness of it all ... if you are the 3-1 Cowboys trying to win a game, it's really not one bit funny.