Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 31, 2006
By Cold, Hard Football Facts senior writer John Dudley
For the self-proclaimed "best kicker in the history of the game," Mike Vanderjagt sure has a knack for the untimely shank.
And you thought that he only missed pressure kicks when they mattered most.
Last night, in a meaningless preseason game against Minnesota, Vanderjagt did nothing to endear himself to his new Dallas teammates. He failed to make either of two chip-shot field goals in overtime – from just 32 and 33 yards away – and the Cowboys were forced to settle for a 10-10 tie.
Where did both kicks end up? This may sound familiar: wide right.
When we last saw Vanderjagt try a field goal with the game on the line, he was playing for Indy in the divisional playoffs against Pittsburgh. His 46-yard attempt in the final seconds of a 21-18 game could have forced OT. But Vanderjagt pushed the ball so far to the right that it nearly hit a vendor in the corner section.
Vanderjagt's failures in the clutch have been well-documented by the Cold, Hard Football Facts. He shanked a would-be tying field goal against New England in 2004's season opener. He missed a potential game-winner in an overtime playoff loss to Miami in 2000.
Now, he is starting to build his choking legend in Dallas.
Vanderjagt's only successful field goals of the preseason have been roughly the distance of extra points: 21 and 22 yards. A businessman picked randomly from the crowd could make those while wearing wingtips.
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