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Cowboys Rumors: Tristan Vizcaino Joining Practice Squad amid Brett Maher's Struggles

Doric SamJanuary 18, 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

Despite his shocking struggles in Monday night's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is expected to retain his job for at least one more week, but the team added some insurance on Wednesday.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that Dallas signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier on Wednesday that the Cowboys plan to stick with Maher for Sunday's divisional-round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, but he noted that Dallas was also "likely to bring in another kicker this week to compete" with him.

Maher stunningly missed four extra-point attempts in the Cowboys' 31-14 win over the Bucs in their NFC Wild Card Game. Per ESPN's Todd Archer, he is the first player since 1932 to achieve such a feat. Those closest to him believe his struggles created a mental hurdle he was simply unable to get over.

"I believe in the hot hand, and I believe in the yips, absolutely," Dallas special teams coordinator John Fassel said. "And you know, you wonder sometimes how you get into the yips, and you wonder sometimes how you get back into the hot hand. I think it's keep stepping up to the line and shooting that thing. We missed a couple of free throws [Monday] ... He had a hot hand. Let's face it, he only missed [six] kicks all season. The yips happen, so I expect a hot hand coming up."

Maher had made 29 out of 32 field goal attempts and 50 of 53 PATs during the regular season. His last extra-point miss came in the regular-season finale against the Washington Commanders, foreshadowing his ineptitude against Tampa Bay. Fassel described the 33-year-old as "distraught" following his performance against the Bucs when they met on Tuesday.

"I think this week will give him some confidence just getting back out there," Fassel said. "He's probably going to be mentally hurting pretty bad until he can kind of sweat and kick again. There's no medicine like being back on the practice field. I know that. I am optimistic. And a good, professional man who really gives a damn, it leads me to be optimistic about a good rebound. We all want it."

However, Dallas' reported plan to bring in some competition could factor into Maher's mindset heading into the matchup against San Francisco. The team remains confident in his abilities, but it's widely known that he will have to be at his best to get past a stout 49ers team.

"I think the biggest thing is just to make sure you got a good plan with Brett moving forward," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Just make sure he's ready."