The Dallas Cowboys will not be bringing back kicker Brett Maher after his historic struggles in the postseason.
Maher had a strong season with the Cowboys but everything went south for the 33-year-old in the postseason. He missed five of six PAT attempts in the postseason, including four in a 31-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round.
He set some unfortunate history with the performance, becoming the first kicker to miss four PATs in a regular-season or postseason game since the statistic was first tracked for individual players in 1932, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday that the team plans to “start over” at the position, per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It’s unfortunate for Maher, who was consistent during the regular season. He connected on 29 of 32 field-goal attempts and was especially good from deep. He hit nine of 11 attempts from 50 yards or longer. Maher was also 50 of 53 extra-point attempts in 17 regular season games, which made his postseason swoon even more unexpected.
Maher Found Support From Locker Room After Misses
There were talks of the Cowboys potentially moving on from Maher after his four-miss outing in the postseason, although he ultimately survived. The team signed Tristan Vizcaino ahead of their Divisional Round clash with the San Francisco 49ers but he was not active on game day.
“We need Brett. He understands that we need to get back on it this week and get him ready to go, obviously with kickoffs in an outdoor stadium out there in Santa Clara,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said prior to the matchup. “He’s disappointed, but we need him, and he’ll focus in, and he’s been super clutch for us all year. That’s the plan.”
Quarterback Dak Prescott was upset with Maher during his struggles on the field but threw some support behind him in the locker room.
“I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan,” Prescott said. “Obviously, there’s video of me … that’s just emotion. That’s part of it.”
Thanks to Maher’s resume, he’ll likely get a shot somewhere next season. It just won’t be in Dallas.
Cowboys Have Already Made Changes After Playoff Exit
The Cowboys face some crucial decisions this offseason but have also started to make some significant changes. One of those was the call to part ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who has since landed with the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I think Mike really felt like it was in our best interest to keep Kellen when he first got here, because Kellen’s outstanding,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. “But the more he’s been around Kellen, and as much as he respects him, there’s still a part of it that doesn’t totally jibe, if you will, with what he wants out of the offense.”
With Moore gone, McCarthy will call the plays on offense and the Cowboys will shift to more of a West Coast offense.
“This is the logical step to build on it and use what we’ve established, if you will, the foundation of the things we’ve got,” Jones said. “This is the time for us to build on it. That’s what this is, a building step.”