Brett Maher kicking struggles: Jerry Jones says Cowboys ‘exonerated’ from sticking with veteran after meltdown

The Dallas Cowboys’ teaching workers has been “exonerated” from sticking with Brett Maher after his traditionally horrible kicking efficiency in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — no less than in response to proprietor Jerry Jones.

Speaking after the Cowboys’ newest playoff loss, a 19-12 defeat in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers, Jones stated he was pleased with Maher for bouncing again from 4 missed further factors versus Tampa Bay to make each of his discipline objectives Sunday. His lone extra-point try, nonetheless, was blocked.

“Their determination for our kicker was exonerated with his discipline objectives, in my thoughts,” Jones stated (by way of The Athletic), “and I’m proud for him.”

On every of the Cowboys’ first 4 touchdowns final week versus the Buccaneers within the wild-card spherical, Maher missed the additional level. He pushed the primary two kicks extensive to the appropriate, then pulled the third one extensive to the left. On the fourth kick, he hit the surface of the upright. He was the primary kicker in NFL historical past to overlook 4 further factors in a playoff sport. (He did convert the additional level on Dallas’ fifth landing.)

Despite the poor efficiency, the Cowboys staunchly supported him all through the week. Maher had gone 50 of 53 on further factors throughout the common season, in addition to 29 of 32 on discipline objectives.

“I’m Money Maher’s greatest fan,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott stated following the group’s win over Tampa. “I talked to him individually after the sport, simply advised him, ‘Hey let that go, we will want it’ I simply performed like s— every week in the past, in order that occurs. So I imply that occurs. Knowing what that man’s completed, with the resiliency he is proven all through his profession. Personally, little doubt that he’ll come again and be good and assist us win.”

Maher additionally bought vocal help from Mike McCarthy and CeeDee Lamb. Nevertheless, throughout the week main as much as their divisional spherical sport in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the apply squad, to offer them an alternative choice rather than Maher for Sunday night time. But Dallas didn’t elevate Vizcaino to the energetic roster, so Maher might be their kicker.

And apparently, he had a tough go of it throughout warmups. And not simply in relation to whether or not or not he was making his kicks. The 49ers apparently didn’t take kindly to Maher warming up on their facet of the sphere, briefly interrupting his warmup earlier than ultimately permitting him to kick once more.

Oh, and he did wrestle to make the kicks as nicely. According to The Athletic, Maher missed no less than 4 kicks throughout the early a part of his warmups, pushing all of them to the appropriate.

Things apparently went so badly (he missed two extra kicks) that Jones walked onto the sphere throughout warmups to offer Maher a pep speak. To put it kindly, that is extremely uncommon, though Maher then went on to make his subsequent three makes an attempt.

Things did not subside as soon as the sport kicked off. After Dalton Schultz hauled within the sport’s first landing within the second quarter, Maher had his first further level try of the afternoon blocked. Even if the Niners weren’t in a position to get a hand on that kick, it seemed just like the try was going to go extensive left regardless.

Even with Maher’s historic struggles, the Cowboys despatched him out for a 25-yard discipline purpose after failing on third-and-goal within the third quarter. Maher’s try break up the uprights to tie the sport at 9. He then tried a 43-yarder with Dallas trailing, 16-9, with about 11 minutes to play, and that was good too.

Maher’s bounce-back effort served as a bittersweet second after a nightmare of a sport final week.

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