Things got so ugly Monday evening that the Cowboys nearly ran out of kicking balls at Raymond James Stadium. That’s as a result of their first two ended up in the stands after Brett Maher missed so badly on consecutive extra-point makes an attempt.
If the Cowboys had misplaced their third, they’d have had to use considered one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ kicking balls.
“Just sort of an ideal storm of a foul kicking day,” Dallas particular groups coordinator John Fassel stated.
Fassel has been teaching particular groups items in the NFL since 2005. He’s by no means been with a staff that had to return to its third kicking ball. He has additionally by no means skilled a kicker lacking 4 consecutive extra-point makes an attempt.
Fassel believes Maher was going by way of the yips, a time period usually utilized in sports activities to describe a sudden and unexplained lack of a ability. He’s had it occur to earlier kickers, particularly mentioning Sebastian Janikowski and Greg Zuerlein.
“I imagine in a sizzling hand and I imagine in the yips,” Fassel stated. “Absolutely. You marvel generally the way you get into the yips, and also you marvel generally the way you get again into the sizzling hand. And I feel it is stepping up to the line and capturing. (Maher) missed a few free throws (Monday evening).
“I do not know what it is, but I imagine in the yips and I imagine in the sizzling hand. He had a sizzling hand. Let’s face it. … And then the yips occur. So, I anticipate a sizzling hand arising.”
Maher made 50 of his 53 further factors throughout the season. He was 29 of 32 on his discipline aim makes an attempt, which included making 9 of 11 from 50-plus yards. For his profession, Maher is 128 of 134 on extra-point makes an attempt.
But Monday evening was alarming. In his third profession playoff sport, Maher missed his first 4 further factors earlier than lastly making his fifth. Fortunately for him and the Cowboys, the sport was by no means shut sufficient for just a few factors to make the distinction. Dallas superior to the divisional spherical with a convincing 31-14 wild-card win over the Buccaneers.
“I undoubtedly did not do my half (Monday evening),” Maher stated. “This staff is too good shifting ahead for me not to try this, so get again at it this week.”
The Cowboys plan on Maher remaining their kicker Sunday at San Francisco.
“Hell, yeah,” Fassel stated. “If you ask me, completely.”
Cowboys proprietor and basic supervisor Jerry Jones stated Tuesday morning that they’d “have a look” at their kicking scenario. He additionally stated it is doable that Maher’s kicking may affect Dallas going for 2 extra usually after touchdowns.
“It can be actually a giant setback to go into the remainder of this event, the remainder of this playoff, with shakiness at kicker,” Jones stated throughout his weekly radio look on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy stated after the sport that the plan was to stick with Maher.
“We’re going to forge forward,” McCarthy stated Tuesday. “As of proper now, that is the plan.”
“At the finish of the day, all of us have a job to do,” McCarthy added. “He is aware of he has to put the ball by way of the uprights. And he is been tremendous productive and constant for us. It’s like something, all of us work with one another on daily basis and that is what I imagine in and I imagine in him and his path.
“I feel a lot on this enterprise, particularly this sport, you study extra out of your experiences when it would not go the means you want as opposed to the success of it. So similar to our complete soccer staff. We got here out of Washington and got punched in the jaw and I feel we clearly responded. I feel he undoubtedly has that in him.”
Maher, 33, has bounced round the NFL over the previous decade. This is his third time with the Cowboys. He signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2013 but was launched earlier than the season began. After spending the subsequent 4 years in the Canadian Football League, Maher was the Cowboys’ kicker throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Accuracy points led to Dallas releasing him close to the finish of the 2019 season. Over the subsequent two years, Maher kicked for the Jets, Washington, Texans, Cardinals and Saints. He returned to the Cowboys in August throughout coaching camp after Dallas launched undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay. Maher then beat out Lirim Hajrullahu for the job.
“I talked to Brett (Tuesday morning),” Fassel stated. “We had an important dialog about (Monday evening) as a result of I feel the largest factor for us is not to fake prefer it did not occur and simply sort of transfer on. We addressed it from a sort of ‘what occurred’ perspective, mentally and bodily. We talked about our plan this week. So, we’ll undergo with a traditional plan.
“He was distraught, like I’m. I share in all of the gamers’ agony. So, like he must be as a competitor. He is aware of that it is only a dangerous day at the workplace. I’ve full confidence he’ll rebound. Yes, it is half psychological for certain. I do not suppose there is something bodily. The first two, when you requested him, he was a bit bit lazy at the end on the first one and sort of toed the second one. Then he simply sort of overcorrected on the third one. And then the fourth one is simply sort of the psychological course of.”
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After Maher’s third miss, ESPN’s TV protection confirmed a clearly pissed off Cowboys QB Dak Prescott slamming his helmet on the sideline and saying “Go for f—— two!”
Prescott stated he spoke with Maher after the sport about his emotional response.
“I’m ‘Money’ Maher’s largest fan,” Prescott stated. “Obviously (I used to be) proven the video of me, it is simply feelings, that is a part of it. I talked to him individually, simply instructed him after the sport to let that go, we’re going to want him. I simply performed like s— every week in the past, I imply, that occurs. But if you imagine in one another, you imagine in what we’re able to doing and realizing what that man has achieved, with the resiliency he is proven all through his profession personally, I’ve little doubt he’ll come again subsequent week and be excellent and assist us win.”
Prescott was not alone. Several teammates and coaches shared their assist after the sport.
“I really feel very fortunate to have the teammates, the locker room and the teaching employees that I do,” Maher stated. “That completely lifted me up. I respect each single considered one of them. It’s time for me to do my half.”
Fassel famous that the place the Cowboys might be enjoying Sunday is not precisely the most kicker-friendly surroundings. Levi’s Stadium is an out of doors venue with a grass discipline and wind might be an element. 49ers kicker Robbie Gould is 30 of 31 kicking further factors there this season. Maher has by no means performed at Levi’s Stadium.
“Get again at it,” Maher stated of his course of this week. “Hit some balls, have an important week of follow, get myself prepared to go.”
(Top photograph of Brett Maher: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images)