Cowboys Make Decision on Kicker Brett Maher’s Future After Epic Failure

Brett Maher

Getty The Cowboys are sticking with kicker Brett Maher despite four straight missed extra points.

Despite Brett Maher missing four straight extra points, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy shot down the notion that the team will be looking for a new kicker. McCarthy emphasized that the Cowboys “need him” heading into the team’s Divisional Round matchup against the 49ers.

“Doesn’t sound like the Cowboys will be looking for another kicker,” The Athletic’s Jon Machota tweeted on January 16, 2023. “Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on Brett Maher missing 4 PATs tonight: ‘We need to get him back on it. Get him ready to go this week. We need him.’”

The decision may not be entirely up to McCarthy as we have seen owner Jerry Jones have short patience with kicking struggles in recent years. When former kicker Greg Zuerlein began to struggle last season, the Cowboys hosted tryouts with free-agent specialists.

Ultimately, Dallas opted to release the former All-Pro last offseason opening up a training camp competition with newly added free agents. After the team’s blowout victory over the Bucs, Jones also voiced his confidence in Maher moving forward while shooting down the notion that the franchise would meet with free-agent kickers heading into the Divisional Round.

Maher Signed a $965,000 Contract With the Cowboys Last Offseason

The Cowboys signed Maher to a one-year, $965,000 contract following Zuerlein’s release, and the veteran ultimately was able to win the starting job during the preseason. Prior to Maher’s woes against Tampa Bay, the Cowboys specialist has been one of the top NFL kickers earning a 90.2 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Maher completed 90.6% of his kicks during the regular season and was even better with successful extra points at 94.3%%. Time will tell if the Cowboys front office will agree with McCarthy on preferring not to bring in any free agent kickers. Maher will be a free agent following the conclusion of Dallas’ season.

Prescott on Maher: ‘He Will Come Back Next Week & Be Perfect’

It is not just McCarthy who is supporting Maher as Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott also backed the team’s starting kicker. Prescott pointed to his own poor play against the Commanders in the regular-season finale and emphasized that Maher will bounce back.

“I just played like s*** a week ago,” Prescott remarked, per ESPN’s Ed Werder. “So I mean, that happens…Knowing what that guy has done with resiliency he’s shown throughout his career, personally, no doubt that he will come back next week and be perfect.”

Cameras caught an angry Prescott slamming his helmet into the bench after one of Maher’s misses. Prescott appeared to be frustrated with the Cowboys decision not to go for two rather than the missed extra point.

The Cowboys Are a 4-Point Underdog vs. 49ers

The Cowboys were able to notch the franchise’s first road playoff win in 30 years, but it will need to be a quick celebration as the team faces a red-hot 49ers team on a short week. San Francisco has won 10 straight games with their last loss coming one week before Halloween.

The Cowboys open as a four-point underdog against the 49ers, per FanDuel. Dallas has a chance for a bit of redemption as San Francisco ended the Cowboys’ 2021 season in the Wild Card round after Dallas botched their final drive thanks to poor clock management.