There weren’t many Dallas Cowboys fans who thought getting a win against the reigning AFC East champions was possible after the team’s Week 1 performance. After losing their starting quarterback and several other players to injuries and watching an offense that couldn’t seem to get anything done, morale was low.
Yet, America’s Team got it done. Although they gave us a scare in the second half, this team was able to bounce back when it mattered most, led by two players who fans didn’t even expect to be on the field a couple of months ago.
There were a lot of players (in all three phases) who helped this team secure a 20-17 victory over the Bengals. In this article, we want to talk about those that surprised us. Players who we weren’t expecting to make a huge impact on the game.
So, just because Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and Tony Pollard aren’t on this list, it doesn’t mean they didn’t all have game-changing performances. They did.
4 unsung heroes who helped the Cowboys get a win against the Bengals
4. Brett Maher, K
Six weeks ago, we all thought Jonathan Garibay, or maybe Lirim Hajrullahu, would be the starting kicker for this team. Unfortunately, the UDFA and longtime veteran could not get anything going in the preseason. Both missed several kicks during camp and the Cowboys were forced to go back to the drawing board and bring in four kickers (when there wasn’t much left in August) to compete for the job.
Cowboys fans were in disbelief when they saw that one of those four names was Brett Maher. Dallas got rid of Maher in 2019 because he was one of the most inaccurate kickers in football, with a completion percentage of just 66.7%.
Giving this man a chance seemed absurd and wrong six weeks ago, but now, we couldn’t be happier.
For starters, Maher was the only Cowboy to score any points in the Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay. In his first game back, he made a 51-yarder to put Dallas on the board. Fans were relieved to see that make but were hesitant to put confidence back in Maher.
After Sunday’s game, “Money Maher” is perfect on the year. He started the night with a lengthy 54-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Then, when things came down to the wire, the team that cut him in 2019 needed him to make a 50-yard kick in order to win the game. With just three seconds left and major pressure on his shoulders, Maher nailed the kick to beat the Bengals as time expired.
Maher is now 3-for-3 on the year for field goal kicks (all 50 yards or more) and is perfect for his extra-point attempts.