Safety Jeff Heath ready to step in as Cowboys kicker if need be

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The Cowboys are hoping kicker Dan Bailey is going to be fine, after some concerns about a back problem last week.

But if he’s not ready, it’s not their punter, but one of their safeties that would fill in.

According to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cowboys safety Jeff Heath stood in as the kicker in practice yesterday, and did a decent-enough job.

Heath, who hit a playoff game-winning 49-yard field goal in high school, said he was 3-of-6 in practice, but that was on the narrower goalposts they use during the week.

It was kind of fun for the whole team,” Heath said. “Coach [Jason] Garrett was back there chirping me a little bit. All the guys were trying to get me to miss. It was fun.

“On Wednesdays, we kick in the skinny goal posts, so that was tough. On the skinny ones, I definitely made three out of six, but I would argue that the other three would’ve made it on a regular goal post. I was probably 35 yards, 30 yards. . . .

“My consistent range I wouldn’t say is any more than 35 yards. . . . Game-winner, you could push it back a little bit, I think.”

Because of his soccer background (he had scholarship offers in that sport too) and his high school experience, Heath has been the emergency plan for the Cowboys. It almost came into play last week, as an hour before game, he got word Bailey’s back was bothering him and he might not be able to play. Bailey did get in the game, but missed a 47-yard field goal, before hitting a 22-yarder and three extra points.

“They always joked around with it, but obviously Dan has never even missed a practice since I’ve been here, so I never thought it would actually have to happen,” Heath said.

But if it does, Heath’s going to be ready.