Cowboys Tease Starter’s Possible Benching Prior to Showdown vs. 49ers

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy speak to the media at a press conference.

It did not take long for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to change his tune regarding the future of Brett Maher following the kicker’s meltdown with four straight missed extra points. Less than 24 hours after Jones said Maher’s job was safe, the Cowboys owner left the door open for the team to make a possible move prior to the Divisional Round matchup against the 49ers. During a January 17, 2023 interview with 105.3 The Fan’s “Shan and RJ.” Jones noted the team would “read this thing” throughout the week, while adding that “shakiness at kicker” would be a “big setback” during the postseason.

“This is a classic case of looking at what he’s done for this team and done on the field all year, not just last night,” Jones said on making a decision on Maher’s future. “And, so, but kicking is a technical thing. It has everything to do with the – just frankly mentally having it all together when you step up there. And, so, we’ll read this thing as the week goes along. I don’t want to get ahead of it.

“I thought when came out at halftime, watched him warm up out there. He was making all the kicks. I figured that was behind him, but we will take a look at it. We can’t, it would really be a big setback to go into the rest of these playoffs with shakiness at kicker.”

Jones: Adding Another Kicker Is ‘Doable’

Jones went on to label the possibility of adding another kicker heading into the team’s showdown in San Francisco as “doable.” This now marks the second straight season where Dallas has dealt with instability at kicker. The Cowboys released Greg Zuerlein last March after an inconsistent 2021 season, and later signed Maher who was able to win the kicking competition during training camp.

During the regular season, Maher completed 90.6% of his field goals and 94.3% of his extra points prior to missing four straight against the Bucs. Time will tell if the Cowboys get aggressive and make a move for another kicker prior to the Divisional Round matchup.

“Jerry Jones not sounding nearly as definitive on Maher today as he did last night,” 105.3 The Fan’s Bobby Belt tweeted of Jones’ appearing to change his stance on Maher.

McCarthy on Maher’s Future: ‘We Need Brett’

Jones not only took a different tone than the one he had after the Cowboys’ win in Tampa, but it conflicts with the stance head coach Mike McCarthy took on Maher. McCarthy emphasized “we need Brett” as the Cowboys advance in the postseason appearing to shut the door on signing an available veteran.

“We need Brett,” McCarthy explained during his January 16 postgame press conference. “He understands that, so we need to get back on it this week and get him ready to go.

“Obviously, we’re kicking in an outdoor stadium out there in in Santa Clara, so. But yeah, he’s disappointed, but we need him. We need him to focus in, and he’s been super clutch for us all year. But that’s the plan.”

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