Jerry Jones was presented with two options in regard to Cowboys kicker Brett Maher, who blew two field goal attempts during Sunday’s 10-point loss to the Packers:
1. Kick him to the curb (pun intended).
2. Do nothing.
As of this writing, less than 24 hours after the 34-24 defeat, which dropped Dallas to 3-2, Maher is still employed. Jones went the latter route, throwing his support behind the second-year pro, who’s now missed three attempts (four of seven) in five games.
“We just got to make sure we buckle in and make sure he makes those kicks…We have confidence in him,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Monday, per The Athletic. “He’s done it in the past and he’s going to do it for us again in the future.”
Mostly reliable last year, Maher has been hit-or-miss thus far in 2019. He went one-for-three against the Packers, drilling a 36-yard chip shot but pushing wide a 54-yard attempt before the half and a 33-yarder late in the fourth quarter which would have made it a one-possession game.
The errors put a bow atop a sloppy effort from the Cowboys, who committed three turnovers and 11 penalties, and were at a staggering time-of-possession disadvantage (36:43 to 23:17).
“I didn’t do my part,” Maher bluntly told reporters in his postgame news conference, exonerating holder Chris Jones for the miscues.
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Garrett Intimates No Kicker Change
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett appeared less forgiving than Jones, but he also recognized that Maher’s bad game is just that — a bad game. A singular game. One of 16.
Believe it or not, competent kickers don’t grow on trees, and Maher has been adequate in filling the shoes of former Pro Bowler Dan Bailey. It’s for that reason Garrett refuses to handle the problem out-of-house.
“We’ll address it. We’ll see what went on in the game,” he said, per ESPN. “Obviously they were two big kicks that were needed and he didn’t make them. But he’s made a lot of kicks for us in the past.”
Maher Vows to Get it Right
Kicking is as much a psychological exercise as it is a physical one. A few off-target boots and suddenly confidence is shot — in some cases, permanently (see: Aguayo, Roberto).
Maher owned his contribution to the Cowboys’ loss, which is a good first step. The second step involves an onset of amnesia, forgetting about this game and anticipating a rebound in Week 6.
“Just try to stay in my zone, focus on my process,” Maher said. “I believe in what I’m doing.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL