The Blues star is known for his accuracy from longdistance although he was just short with a penalty on the halfway line that could have won Wales their World Cup semi-final against France.
Since that setback Halfpenny has been given further responsibility for the Blues and his improvement has not gone unnoticed by Howley.
And his form poses an interesting dilemma for the Wales coaching staff with James Hook, Stephen Jones and Rhys Priestland all vying for the responsibility.
Whoever gets the role, however, Howley says there will be a huge weight on their shoulders.
"It's great to see that Leigh has set the standard," he said.
"He's certainly kept the Blues in a couple of regional games and Heineken Cup games since coming back.
"That puts pressure on Warren Gatland and Neil Jenkins, because kicking is an area everyone has highlighted since the Rugby World Cup. It's going to be important in the Six Nations - it always is. Kicking decides international games.
"It's good to have James Hook, Steve Jones, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Priestland in our squad. That's the strength in depth and options that we have, long or short.
"We talked to Leigh post-Rugby World Cup and it's been shown in regional rugby this year that if you have a couple of goal-kickers you might win games.
"You need to have choice and strength in depth in your goal-kicking, short distance and long distance, and it's fair to say Leigh's long-distance kicking has been exceptional.
"It's just a shame he was just that half a metre short against France.
"But that's a different pressure, kicking from 50 or 60 metres.
"Kicking from closer is a far greater test of character, skill and mindset."