The Dallas Cowboys simply could not have justified going into the Divisional Round against the hottest team in football, the San Francisco 49ers, without signing someone to backup Brett Maher after his epic meltdown against the Buccaneers.
Jerry Jones, Mike McCarthy and special teams coach John Fassel have all proclaimed that Maher keep his job. While that might be true when all is said and done, that didn’t stop the Cowboys from going out and signing former Patriots kicker Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad Tuesday, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Vizcaino has bounced around the NFL over his three years in the league. His most substantial role came with the Chargers last season when he started six games. The results were very mixed, as Vizcaino drilled 6-of-7 field goal attempts, but struggled with extra points, going 10-of-15 on point afters.
For what it’s worth, those marked the only XP misses of Vizcaino’s career thus far. Overall, the former Washington Husky is 15-of-20 in his career, which averages out to 75%. Not great, but very skewed from his Chargers stint.
Vizcaino had a brief stint in Dallas during the 2020 offseason.
The Cowboys signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad after Brett Maher’s nightmare vs the Buccaneers.
Though unemployed before joining Dallas, Vizcaino kicked in two games for the Patriots and one game for Arizona this season, though he only handled kickoff duties in New England with Nick Folk cemented as the field goal kicker. With Arizona, Vizcaino was perfect on two field goals and three extra point attempts.
For what it’s worth, Vizcaino has never attempted a field goal beyond 50 yards in his brief career. That’s certainly noteworthy given Maher made two 60-yarders in one game earlier this season. Maher holds the NFL record for most makes from 60 yards or longer with four.
Does Vizcaino’s arrival mean the Cowboys will carry two kickers on the active roster? If so, who loses their spot? More importantly, how long of a leash will Maher have? Does he have to miss a field goal to get yanked? Another extra-point … which would be six of his last seven dating back to the regular season finale, by the way. Or is Vizcaino here just to signal to Maher to get his act together?
Of those options, the Cowboys would be smart to carry two kickers. While Maher was awesome all season, there’s no predicting if his yips will be gone by kickoff Sunday evening. A trip to the NFC Championship Game is on the line. It’d be reckless to be stuck with Maher if his yips continue for another week.