Former Oklahoma, Oklahoma State stars help spark Dallas Cowboys' run

Dez Bryant has been one of the NFL's top receivers the past two months. DeMarco Murray has helped Dallas re-establish its ground game. Kicker Dan Bailey is booting game-winning field goals. Even rookie tight end James Hanna is contributing.
by Michael Baldwin Published: December 19, 2012
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photo - Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Dez Bryant (88) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)  ORG XMIT: CBS138
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Dez Bryant (88) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ORG XMIT: CBS138

Bailey, in his second year out of OSU, has produced a game-winning field goal in three of Dallas' last four wins. Two were overtime kicks against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. He also booted a last-second game-winner at Cincinnati.

“You enjoy those moments,” Bailey said. “It's rare when you get those opportunities. The more chances you have to go out and help the team the better. It's always fun to put the final points on the board.”

Bailey has made 27 of 29 field goals. His only two misses have been over 50 yards. He's been so consistent Dallas coach Jason Garrett contemplated letting Bailey attempt a 61-yarder late in regulation against the Steelers. Garrett ultimately decided it was too much of a field position risk.

“There was a pretty good breeze coming in,” Bailey said. “I was hitting them pretty good during pregame from pretty far back. I was confident. But given the situation with (32 seconds) on the clock I understand the decision we made. That was the right call.”

Hanna, a rookie from OU, has been active for all 14 games but had only two receptions all season before he hauled in two catches for 45 yards to spark a touchdown drive against Pittsburgh.

“I've been practicing pretty well for a while now and have played consistently on the scout team,” Hanna said. “I hope to stay involved but it's always whatever is best for this team moving forward.”

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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