Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher had a historically bad night in the team’s 31-14 playoff win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Maher became the first kicker to miss four extra points in a game since the NFL began keeping official stats in 1932.
It was a shocking performance considering Maher had a stellar regular season — making 29 of his 32 field goal attempts and 50 of his 53 extra point attempts and earning the nickname “Money Maher.”
After the Monday game, which gave the Cowboys a date with the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs (5:30 p.m. CT Sunday), team owner Jerry Jones commented on Maher’s performance and said he would not be replaced.
“No. No. We won’t [look at kickers this week]. He’s done enough good ones. I don’t think he’s blown the socket or whatever you do,” Jones said.
Jones joined 105.3 the Fan’s Shan and RJ for his weekly radio appearance Tuesday morning to discuss the big playoff win and the upcoming schedule, where he gave further thoughts on the kicking situation.
“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 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 ahead of it,” Jones added. “I thought when 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. It would really be a big setback to go into the rest of these playoffs with shakiness at kicker.”
The hosts then asked about the possibility of having two kickers on the active roster, to which Jones pointed out the team’s use of both Greg Zuerlein and Lirim Hajrullahu.
“We did it last year. We had one that was good on shorter kicks and extra points. It’s an imposition, but it’s doable.”
Monday night was the Cowboys’ first win over Tom Brady in eight tries and their first road playoff win in 30 years. Jones acknowledged what a win over a player like that could do for his team and his excitement over how Dallas played.
“I just can’t wipe this grin off my face,” he said as he joined the show. “I’m so excited for this team.
“Dak and all the players who have worked so hard and continued to improve, fought through injury and then to step up here and have a victory like this. That does make a difference.”
“We just would not and could not ever let him [Brady] get within distance of winning that football game because he just goes to another level when those things happen. We kept him looking uphill all night long. It was as good a plan on both sides of the ball as I’ve seen.
“I think we maximized our talent out there last night.”
Jones was especially impressed with quarterback Dak Prescott.
“He stepped out there and showed a lot of preparation. We got to see what a competitor [he is] and what he can do in a situation where everything’s on the line. In my mind, it’s the best game I’ve ever seen him play.”
Shan and RJ pointed out that Prescott seemed more willing to run on Monday than he had all season, which Jones said was just a product of the circumstances.
“He probably could’ve done it a few times during the season, but we just didn’t need it. So, why risk it? [Monday night] we needed it, so we risked it. It’s a dimension the defense has a tough time adjusting to.”
Now, the Cowboys will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers, which Jones says is an opportunity he is greatly anticipating.
“I know that as I sit here today, I know we have an excellent opportunity over the next few games. If we’re as healthy as I think we are, we’ve got a great opportunity here.
“Playing at the level we played, you couldn’t do anything better than playing how we played last night to get ready for San Francisco.”
But San Francisco is a great team that will not be easy to beat.
“It’s a daunting task, winning in San Francisco… just being on the road has a negative percentage, but it doesn’t have to be that way for the Cowboys this year,” Jones added.