The Cowboys are taking a risk by sticking with Brett Maher after his miserable night against the Buccaneers but it’s the right risk to take.
Watching Brett Maher miss four point after attempts in a row on Monday night felt a lot like watching someone lose their job on national television.
However, despite the terrible night, the Cowboys kicker didn’t lose his job. His teammates rallied around him and now he’s getting another chance against the 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.
If Dallas had decided to bench Maher, they would have needed to activate practice squad kicker Tristan Vizcaino. They didn’t do that, per Ian Rapoport, meaning Maher will have to sink or swim on Sunday.
Sticking with Brett Maher is the right decision for the Cowboys
The truth is Vizcaino was never going to be a savior for the Cowboys. He lost his gig kicking for the Chargers in 2021 because of five missed PATs in four games. He was brought in to Dallas as an insurance policy in case it became clear that Maher was traumatized beyond repair by his four missed extra points against the Bucs.
Vizcaino not being activated is actually a great sign for Dallas. It means Maher made it through a week of practice without major warning signs. It means head coach Mike McCarthy and others looked him in the eye and decided he could bounce back.
The rest is up to Maher, who will have the chance to prove that he can be reliable on PATs while also valuable kicking field goals. Before the Wild Card Round he had been both, making 50-of-53 point after attempts and 29-of-32 field goals. All of his misses were from 40+ yards.