According to owner Jerry Jones, Brett Maher’s historically poor kicking performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has “exonerated” the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff from continuing to use him.
Jones expressed his pride in Maher after the Cowboys’ most recent playoff setback, a 19-12 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, saying Maher had recovered from missing four extra points against Tampa Bay to hit both of his field goals on Sunday. However, his only try at an extra point was stopped.
According to Jones (via The Athletic), “their judgment for our kicker was exonerated with his field goals, and I’m proud for him.”
Maher failed to make the extra point on each of the Cowboys‘ first four touchdowns last week against the Buccaneers in the wild-card game. He pulled the third kick wide to the left after pushing the first two wide to the right.
He struck the outside of the upright with his fourth kick. In a postseason game, he was the first kicker in NFL history to miss four extra points. (On Dallas’ fifth touchdown, he did make the extra point.)
The Cowboys were steadfast in their support of him throughout the week despite the dismal performance. Maher had made 29 of 32 field goals and 50 of 53 extra points during the regular season.
Following the team’s victory over Tampa, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott declared, “I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan.” “After the game, I spoke with him one-on-one and simply said, “Hey, let that go; we’re going to need it.” I recently played poorly, so that happens.
I mean by that that occurs. Knowing what that person has accomplished and the perseverance he has displayed throughout his career. I have no doubt that he will win for us by making a magnificent comeback.”
Additionally, CeeDee Lamb and Mike McCarthy spoke out in favor of Maher. In order to have a backup plan in case Maher is unavailable on Sunday night, the Cowboys signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad during the week leading up to their divisional round match against the San Francisco 49ers.
Maher will be the team’s kicker because Dallas chose not to add Vizcaino to the active roster.
Additionally, it appears that he struggled throughout warmups. Not simply in terms of whether he was actually making his kicks.
Maher’s warmup on their side of the field was apparently not well received by the 49ers, who briefly stopped it before letting him resume kicking.
Oh, and he had trouble making the kicks, too. Maher missed at least four kicks during the first part of his warm-ups, pushing them all to the right, according to The Athletic.
It appears that things went so horribly (he missed two more kicks) that Jones entered the field during warmups to motivate Maher. This is extremely exceptional, to put it mildly, however Maher went on to try his next three times.
Once the game began, the situation didn’t get much better. Maher’s first extra point try of the day was blocked after Dalton Schultz scored the game’s first touchdown in the second quarter. It appeared as though the kick was going to miss wide left even if the Niners managed to get a hand on it.
Despite Maher’s illustrious problems, the Cowboys sent him out for a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter after he failed on third-and-goal.
Maher’s shot missed the uprights, tying the score at nine. With roughly 11 minutes remaining and Dallas behind 16-9, he subsequently attempted a 43-yard field goal, which also went well.
After a game that was a nightmare the week before, Maher’s comeback performance was a bittersweet moment.