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Vanderjagt's a solid signing for the Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys filled the last "must have" need of free agency with K Mike Vanderjagt. Going in we had to get a RT, LB and K for sure. We added WR to the list with the release of Keyshawn Johnson and we filled that one, too.

For all the teeth gnashing going on about signing Vanderjagt, you'd think he's just a bum off the streets. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know the arguments, he missed the kick last year against Pittsburgh badly so he's not clutch, he is in his mid-30's, he can't handle kickoff duties.  

Here's the stat I care most about, the Dallas Cowboys just signed the most accurate kicker in NFL history. If he can't kickoff he can still kick FG's, and which is more important? Yeah, he's getting old, but this is a kicker we're talking about and he should be fine physically for the length of the contract. Sure he's a knucklehead, but that has never stopped Dallas in the past, or many NFL teams for that matter.

And as to that whole "clutch" thing and worries about his kicking outside a dome, here's some good stats first posted by monkeymcgee in the comments.

MYTH: Vanderjagt is a poor kicker in clutch situations.

FACT: According to his career splits, he is 34-38 all time (89.5%) in Late & Close situations, which is higher than his overall career accuracy of 87.5% and much higher than Adam Vinatieri's accuracy of 78.4% in Late & Close situations. Mike has also made 87.5% of his 72 4th-quarter field goal attempts and 100% of his 3 overtime attempts, while Vinatieri has hit 82.3% of his 4th quarter attempts and 80% of his 10 overtime attempts.

MYTH: Vanderjagt's stats were inflated by playing in a dome.

FACT: Mike has made 127 of 145 field goal attempts (87.6%) indoors, and 90 of 103 attempts (87.4%) outdoors, for almost no distinguishable difference. He is 84.4% in windy weather, 100% below 40 degrees fahrenheit, and 100% with precipitation.

Rejoice Cowboys fans, he may be a knucklehead who's getting up in years, but he's the best kicker to play in Dallas in a long, long time.

Here are the contract details per

Cowboys | Vanderjagt contract details Len Pasquarelli, of, reports the contract signed by Dallas Cowboys PK Mike Vanderjagt is a three-year deal that can be worth a little more than $6 million. The deal includes a signing bonus of $2.5 million and base salaries of $810,000 each for 2006-2007 and $1 million for 2008. Vanderjagt can receive workout bonuses of $90,000 each in 2006-2007 and of $100,000 for 2008, with a roster bonus of $100,000 due in the spring of 2008. He can earn also an annual bonus of $200,000 based on field goal percentage.