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Cowboys Will 'Forge Ahead' with Brett Maher at Kicker Despite 4 PAT Misses vs. Bucs

Erin WalshJanuary 17, 2023

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Brett Maher #19 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after missing an extra point against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Brett Maher's job as the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys is safe despite his missing four extra points in Monday's 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We're going to forge ahead," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

McCarthy added: "We need Brett. He understands that we need to get back on it this week and get him ready to go, obviously with kickoffs in an outdoor stadium out there in Santa Clara. He's disappointed, but we need him, and he'll focus in, and he's been super clutch for us all year. That's the plan."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked Monday whether the team would look into replacing Maher, to which he replied: "No. No. We won't."

However, his tune changed Tuesday during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan when he acknowledged the team will assess the kicking situation (via Mark Lane of Texans Wire):

"Well, I think the first thing you do is talk about how isn't it great to have that the No. 1 thing we need to correct or the No. 1 thing we need to address? I think that shows everything about not only how we played but where we are with this team right now.

"Now, make no mistake about it, we've got to have the same week of preparation. Now, over to our kicker. 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. 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 out over our skis and get ahead of it.

"I thought when he 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'd be really a big setback to go into the rest of this tournament, rest of this playoff with shakiness at kicker."

Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL

Cowboys ST coordinator John Fassel said kicker Brett Maher was "distraught" about his four missed field goals. Added it was more psychological than physical. They met and discussed outing today. "I think the biggest thing for us is not to pretend it didn't happen and move on." <a href="https://t.co/DgTdSGONAZ">pic.twitter.com/DgTdSGONAZ</a>

Maher missed three extra points in the first half and missed the fourth in the third quarter. He became the first player in NFL history to miss three-plus extra points in a single postseason game.

In 17 regular-season games, Maher made 50 of 53 extra-point attempts and 29 of 32 field-goal attempts. It was the best season of his career.

If Maher kicks in Sunday's NFC divisional round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, he will likely have to be much better than he was against the Bucs.