The Dallas Cowboys overcame a slow start from the offense to jump out to a two-touchdown lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
Well, it should be a three-touchdown lead.
After Dak Prescott connected with Dalton Schultz for the opening score, Brett Maher missed the extra-point, limiting the damage to six points. That sparked a collective eye roll amongst Cowboys fans after Maher missed his lone point-after attempt in Week 18, but not enough to ring the alarm bells.
While a costly mistake, Dallas regained all of its momentum after Jayron Kearse intercepted Tom Brady in the red zone. The Cowboys marched down the field to extend their lead in the form of a Prescott rushing touchdown on a gutsy (but correct) decision from Mike McCarthy to go for it on 4th and goal.
In another neat move from McCarthy, he sent out the kicking unit to try and reestablish Maher’s confidence instead of going for two.
The now-slumping kicker didn’t cooperate, and his yips on extra-points are officially a big problem for the Cowboys, who lead 18-0.
Cowboys kicker Brett Maher has missed three extra-points in Wild Card Game vs the Buccaneers
Maher has now missed three (four) straight extra points dating back to the regular season finale against Washington. The miss in Week 18 featured a low snap, but there seemingly wasn’t any fowl play on any of his misses tonight.
The veteran was unlucky to not make the Pro Bowl after a redemption season for the ages as Dallas’ starting kicker. Folks expected his consistency to extend into the playoffs, but that hasn’t been the case, and these two (now three!) points could come back to haunt the Cowboys later in the game.
If there’s a silver lining, Maher seemed unfazed on the sideline, and both Prescott and McCarthy gave him words of encouragement after his second miss. Perhaps Maher being reminded he still has the confidence of his coaches and teammates will realign his nerves (and accuracy) because you can guarantee his number will be called again over the final two-plus quarters.
Come on, Maher. Don’t go dark on us now.
(Maher missed another extra point as this article was published after Dak and Schultz connected for another TD). That’s three missed XPs in the first half. Time to call the calvary?