There are a lot of narratives that are repeated throughout the course of a given NFL season.
One of the most-played songs on this greatest hits album is that the altitude in Denver, Colorado is much higher than normal, making the air thinner and therefore easier to kick field goals through.
It’s a narrative for a reason though, as three of the four longest field goals in NFL history have been made in Denver. You can’t fight facts.
The Cowboys will be in Denver today for a Week 2 contest against the Broncos. They bring to town one of the NFL’s more prominent kickers in Dan Bailey.
Bailey’s career long currently sits at 56-yards out, a mark he’s achieved on two separate occasions (Seattle in 2014 and last season’s opener against the Giants).
Dan Bailey has actually kicked in Colorado before when he was a Cowboy of a different type, at Oklahoma State when he was teammates with Dez Bryant. Split ‘Em was three for three on that day (November 15th, 2008), with his longest attempt coming from 25-yards out. That’s easy money territory for him these days.
When it comes to kicks of over 50 yards in outdoor stadiums, considering after all that Sports Authority Field at Mile High is outdoors, Dan Bailey is 7/13 on his career. That’s hardly the mark of extreme accuracy we’ve come to know from Bailey.
While Sports Authority is outdoors, it’s not your normal outdoors stadium. This is a house that is conducive to long kicks, so it may not be the kryptonite kicks from way out in outdoor stadiums appear to be for Danny boy.
This will be Dan Bailey’s first time kicking in Denver as a professional. Barring a Super Bowl being played there, which is doubtful, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever play there again considering the next visit the Cowboys make will be in 2025 (to be fair Dan will likely play forever).
If Dan is going to be like many kickers that have come before him and use the outlier that Mile High presents to set a career long, this is obviously his golden opportunity. He was good on attempts from 21, 48, 42, and 36 yards out in the opener (a perfect four for four on the day). He’s obviously in the zone.
Let’s hope that if his number is called from a new career high that, as always, he knocks it right down the middle. Watching Dan Bailey kick in Denver is going to be glorious.