Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher had a nightmarish game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Despite the Cowboys’ victory, Maher missed four extra points in the game. That made it five-straight missed extra points, dating back to the Cowboys’ Week 18 loss to the Washington Commanders.
Dallas actually signed Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad this week, as insurance for Maher. But on Saturday the team decided not to elevate Vizcaino to their practice squad, meaning Maher will be their only active kicker on Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco 49ers.
Judging by warmups, that could be an issue.
Maher struggled while warming up before taking on the 49ers, to the point that owner Jerry Jones is now getting involved:
Cowboys kicker Brett Maher has been shaky in pregame warmups— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 22, 2023
Brett Maher just missed a 43-yarder about 20 feet wide right after 2 earlier misses right from shorter distance. Then made two. Then missed another wide right.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 22, 2023
Maher just missed 2 more and Jerry Jones literally walked on to the field to talk to him. I have NEVER seen that before. https://t.co/GlMrnA0fjP— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 22, 2023
Also during warmups, video surfaced of the 49ers taking exception to Maher warming up on San Francisco’s side of the field. Ultimately, Maher was allowed to continue kicking:
A little drama in Cowboys-49ers pregame: Niners apparently took offense to Cowboys kicker Brett Maher warming up on side of field, stepping in middle of his operation to interrupt drill. Niners eventually allowed Maher to resume kicking. He made next try. pic.twitter.com/zOuYIDp3El— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 22, 2023
However, either the pep talk from Jones worked, or the attempted intimidation from San Francisco backfired. Because Maher finally locked in as his warmups wound down, according to Clarence Hill Jr., who covers the Cowboys for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Maher has now made 8 of 10 on other end. No longer shaky https://t.co/c6kxgw25rD— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 22, 2023
In the wake of Monday night’s struggles. Maher’s performance was one of the biggest storylines heading into the Divisional Round.
Given how things are looking before kickoff, that seems to remain the case.