The Dallas Cowboys always dominant headlines, but this week was overkill in that regard amid the speculation surrounding Brett Maher’s job after he missed four extra points in Dallas’ Wild Card win against the Buccaneers.
Jerry Jones, Mike McCarthy and all of Maher’s teammates preached confidence in the kicker throughout the week, and the Cowboys doubled down on that by opting against promoting new signing Tristan Vizcaino to the active roster.
It was theorized the Cowboys would have Vizcaino active as insurance in the event Maher’s yips returned Sunday night, but the team is rolling with “Money Maher,” who was admittedly money during the regular season.
All eyes were no Maher during pregame warmups on Sunday, and the kicker didn’t exactly quell concerns his Wild Card meltdown will go down as an outlier in an otherwise stellar season.
Maher missed at least four kicks during his pregame routine. This prompted an impromptu meeting with Jerry Jones, who stunned every reporter in the stadium by walking on to the field to give Maher a pep talk before kickoff.
Jerry Jones gave Brett Maher a pregame pep talk after the Cowboys kicker struggled during pregame warmups.
Perhaps it wasn’t just Maher’s pregame nerves that forced Jones into thinking his kicker needed a quick talk to clear his mind.
The 49ers seemingly took exception to Maher warming up on the side of the field, and a number of players held their ground as Maher backed up into his kicking stance. This caused a minor dust-up involving special teams coach John Fassel, injured long snapper Jake McQuade and punter Bryan Anger.
The 49ers players eventually backed off, and it was after this exchange that Jones made his way on to the field to console Maher.
Nothing like a little pregame drama to set the stage for a playoff game between perhaps the best non-divisional rivalry in the NFL. There’s always been bad blood between the Cowboys and 49ers, and tensions appear to be at an all-time high before kickoff.
For the Cowboys sake, let’s hope San Francisco’s pregame antics didn’t rattle Maher’s cage. And if they did, let’s hope Jones had the right things to say.
Regardless, if this is any indication about how the game will go, fans of both squads are in for a real treat.