Brett Maher kicking: Jerry Jones says Cowboys ‘liberated’ from clinging to old ways after disaster

Brett Maher kicking: Jerry Jones says Cowboys ‘liberated’ from clinging to old ways after disaster

The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff has been “relieved” of sticking with Brett Maher after his terrible kicking performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — at least according to owner Jerry Jones.

Speaking after the Cowboys’ most recent playoff loss, a 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Jones said he was proud of Maher for bouncing back from missing four extra points against Tampa Bay to make it two hit a field goal on Sunday. However, his solo extra point attempt was blocked.

“Their decision for our kicker was ruled out with his field goals, in my mind,” Jones said (via The Athletic), “and I’m proud of it.”

On each of the Cowboys’ first four touchdowns last week against the Buccaneers in the wild card round, Maher missed the extra point. He pushed the first two kicks wide to the right, then pulled the third wide to the left. On the fourth kick, it hit the outside of the upright. He became the first kicker in NFL history to miss four extra points in a playoff game. (He converted the extra point on Dallas’ fifth touchdown.)

Despite the poor performance, the Cowboys backed him solidly throughout the week. Maher went 50 of 53 on extra points during the regular season, as well as 29 of 32 on field goals.

“I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said after the team’s victory over Tampa. “I spoke to him individually after the game, but he told him, ‘Hey let it go, we’re going to need him’ I was just like s— a week ago, so happens. So, I mean happens. Knowing what that man has done, with the resilience he’s shown throughout his life. Personally, there’s no doubt he’ll come back and be perfect and it will help us win.”

Maher also received vocal support from Mike McCarthy and CeeDee Lamb. However, during the week before their divisional round game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad, giving them an alternative to Maher on Sunday night. But Dallas didn’t elevate Vizcaino to the active roster, so Maher will be their kicker.

And apparently, it was going rough during warmups. And not just when he is doing his kicks or not. The 49ers apparently didn’t take kindly to Maher warming up on their side of the field, briefly interrupting his warm-up before allowing him to kick again.

Oh, and he struggled to make the kicks too. According to The Athletic, Maher missed at least four kicks in the early part of his warm-ups, landing all of them on the right.

Things seem to have gone so badly (below him two more kicks) to Jones walked on the field during warmups to give Maher a pep talk. To put it mildly, this is highly unusual, although Maher went as far as that make his first three attempts.

Things didn’t slow down when the game started. After Dalton Schultz hauled in the game’s first field goal in the second quarter, Maher’s first extra point attempt of the afternoon was blocked. Even if the Niners couldn’t get a hand on that kick, it looked like the effort was going to the left regardless.

Even with Maher’s historic struggles, the Cowboys kicked him out for a 25-yard field goal after a failed third-and-goal in the third quarter. Maher’s attempt split the uprights to tie the game at nine. He then attempted a 43-yarder with Dallas trailing, 16-9, with about 11 minutes to play, and that was good too.

Maher’s bounce back effort was a bittersweet moment after a nightmare of a game last week.

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