Brett Maher is coming off a nightmare week after missing four extra points in a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys kicker’s warmup for Sunday’s Divisional Round tilt against the San Francisco 49ers wasn’t exactly smooth.
Maher missed at least four kicks during his warmup routine, per reporters on site, which prompted owner Jerry Jones to come down onto the field, hopefully for some inspirational words. It was something that took Tim Kawakami of The Athletic aback.
“Maher just missed 2 more and Jerry Jones literally walked on to the field to talk to him. I have NEVER seen that before,” Kawakami tweeted.
It also appeared that the 49ers took exception to Maher warming up on their side of the field. San Francisco players interrupted his warmup, per Todd Archer of ESPN.
“A little brouhaha between the Cowboys and Niners as Brett Maher goes through his normal pregame work,” Archer tweeted. A number of SF players would not move and led to some talking back and forth with ST coordinator John Fassel, injured LS Jake McQuade and P Bryan Anger. Got testy.”
Cowboys Back Maher Despite Miserable Showing
Maher found some support from the locker room after the nightmare game, with quarterback Dak Prescott issuing an especially strong defense of his kicker.
“I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan,” Prescott said. “Obviously I’ve been shown the video of me, and that’s just emotion. That’s part of it. But I talked to him individually, just told him after the game, ‘Hey, let that go. We’re gonna need you.’ I mean I just played like s**t a week ago. That happens. But when you believe in each other, when you believe in what we’re capable of doing. Knowing what that guy’s done, the resiliency he’s shown throughout his career, personally, no doubt that he’ll come back next week and be perfect and help us win.”
Running back Ezekiel Elliott also came to Maher’s defense but joked that he has to “get that s**t together.”
“We’ve got trust in him,” Elliott said Thursday. “We’ve got faith in him. That’s our brother and we’re not going to turn our back on him. Last week we ain’t really need him. But this week we probably will. … So get that s**t together.”
Cowboys Signed Kicker Tristan Vizcaino
Maher had been solid all year for the Cowboys but the showing against the Bucs caused some concern at the wrong time. Maher hit 21-of-24 field goals during the regular season and was 50-of-53 on his extra points.
Dallas didn’t opt to move on from Maher but did sign Tristan Vizcaino — just as backup in case things go off the rails this week and the Cowboys still manage to win. Vizcaino was not active on Sunday against the 49ers.
“It doesn’t take anything away from our trust in Brett,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “I just think it’s part of the responsibility. Player acquisition’s a 365-day (thing), this is nothing out of the normal for us.”
Maher will have one more chance to prove he’s turned things around against the 49ers, where points are expected to be at more of a premium than they were a week ago.