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Should the Dallas Cowboys go for two more often now that they have a new kicker?

Extra point attempts have been automatic for the Cowboys because of Dan Bailey, without him should they consider going for two more?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Bailey is going to miss some time with his groin injury, and in his stead the Dallas Cowboys signed veteran kicker Mike Nugent.

We could sit here and list what the Cowboys will miss in Bailey, but we don’t have that kind of time. Among the many things Dan Bailey does at a 100 emoji level are extra points.

The NFL moved the extra point attempt back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line entering the 2015 season. That rattled a lot of kickers, but not the legendary Danny boy. Bailey has never missed an extra point as an NFL kicker. He’s 266/266.

Mike Nugent is no doubt a capable veteran in this situation. He has an 80.8% field goal percentage on his career, and considering how far that dates back (the Jets drafted in him the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft) that’s pretty impressive.

While it’s not necessarily a cause for extreme panic, it is worth mentioning that Nugent has struggled a bit with extra points over his career. He’s 344/355 in total, and he’s 71/78 since the NFL moved it back 13 yards (six of those were last season alone).

The Dallas Cowboys offense has put up over 30 points in three consecutive games, so it’s hard to imagine that a measly point or two would make much of a difference. After all the Cowboys even missed an extra point in San Francisco on one of Jeff Heath’s attempts, but those 30+ points weren’t enough against Los Angeles or Green Bay.

It is fair to say that Mike Nugent could miss an extra point as a Dallas Cowboy. Statistically he does 9% of the time (when it comes to 15-yard attempts). This begs the question, should the Cowboys consider going for two more often?

In the Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott era, a small sample size to be fair, the Cowboys have gone for two on five (seven kind of) separate occasions:

  • 2016 in Pittsburgh: An incomplete pass to Dez Bryant
  • 2016 in Pittsburgh: An incomplete pass to Dez Bryant
  • 2016 Divisional Round vs Packers: A successful Dak Prescott run up the middle
  • 2017 vs Rams: A successful Dak Prescott run up the middle (flag on the play)
  • 2017 vs Rams: A Dak Prescott interception (flag on the play)
  • 2017 vs Rams: An incomplete pass to Terrance Williams
  • 2017 vs 49ers: An incomplete pass to Brice Butler

The fiasco against Los Angeles was certainly something to behold, but counting those plays we’ve got two out of seven successful conversions, both were Dak Prescott runs up the middle.

If you want to score on a two point conversion, it makes sense to run with Dak Prescott. He’s built in a way that is hard to stop that close to the goal line. It’s a weapon worth exploring if that’s the avenue you want to dance in.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of Dak Prescott running. I don’t agree with that, but I understand if you’re not thrilled about it. Fine. Run it with your all-pro running back who is behind the greatest offensive line in the NFL. Two yards is cake for them.

Or how about you run with Dak and incorporate a pass option? Let him decide what works best. While he’s never completed a two-point conversion via a pass, Dez Bryant one-on-one are odds some might take over Mike Nugent kicking an extra point from 15 yards out.

The debate ultimately becomes if you feel like you can convert at least half of your two-point conversions, which balances out to 100% effective Mike Nugent. It’s up to the Cowboys to choose which option they like best, but teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers have shown that there is indeed a benefit to going for two more often.

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