'Boys, Vanderjagt Closing In?

Will the Dallas Cowboys finally add a veteran kicker on their 2006 roster? How about signing the most accurate kicker in league history?

Finally, it appears as though the Dallas Cowboys are on the verge of one of addressing one of their biggest needs for the 2006 season.

Wednesday, the team hosted unrestricted free agent Mike Vanderjagt at team headquarters in Valley Ranch while also coming close to a multi-year deal, TheRanchReport.com has learned.

The former Colts kicker is the most accurate specialist in NFL history, connecting on 217-of-248 field goals (87.5%) with a long of 54 yards in his career. He also had one of the most productive seasons in NFL history in 2003 when he drilled 37-of-37 field goals and 46-46 PATs for 157 total points.

Last season, he connected on 23-of-25 attempts and all 37 of his PATs.

Despite his proven track record on the field, he has also been the subject of a good bit of controversy off.

While in Indianapolis, Vanderjagt challenged the leadership ability of Colts QB Peyton Manning and head coach Tony Dungy in a radio interview two years ago.

"I'm not a real big Colts fan right now, unfortunately," he said during the interview. "I just don't see us getting better. Coach Dungy, he's just a mild-mannered guy. He doesn't get too excited, he doesn't get too down and I don't think that works, either. ... I think you need a motivator, I think you need a guy that is going to get in somebody's face when they're not performing well enough."

Manning retaliated at the Pro Bowl just a few days later when he said, "The sad thing is, he's a good kicker. He's a good kicker. But he's an idiot."

Vanderjagt also missed badly on a 46-yard potential game-tying field goal in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh only to later appear on "Late Night with David Letterman" on national television just a few days later to kick a 46-yard field goal on New York City street.

The Colts were not amused by the stunt and elected to not bring him back for a ninth season.

Still, if signed, Vanderjagt would offer Dallas a better option than any player tried at the position last year when the team went through four kickers, including Jose Cortez, Shaun Suisham and Billy Cundiff.

Vanderjagt, a native of Ontario, Canada, played his college football at West Virginia before signing on with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. As an unrestricted free agent, he has already visited the Miami Dolphins and could visit New England if he leaves Dallas unsigned.

Sources maintain however that it appears as though a deal will be done and announced within the next 24 hours between the Cowboys and Vanderjagt.

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