The Dallas Cowboys put together a commanding drive in the second quarter after the 49ers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a Dak Prescott interception. The drive ended with a Dalton Schultz touchdown, his third of the playoffs, but Cowboys fans everywhere held their breath as Brett Maher trotted on the field for the point after.
The Cowboys made the bold decision to stick with Maher after he missed four extra points — a new NFL record — in the Wild Card win against the Buccaneers, and it took one quarter to backfire, as Maher’s attempt was blocked.
There’s nothing Maher can do about that. The special teams unit was overwhelmed by San Francisco’s rush and dropped the ball. However, replays show Maher’s kick — if it made it beyond the line of scrimmage — was going to miss by at least 10 feet to the left of the upright, per FOX color analyst Greg Olsen.
It’s impossible to say, but the trajectory of the ball was pretty clear: that kick had no chance of going through the uprights, and we’ve officially reached the point where the Brett Maher experiment must end.
NFL Twitter wasted no time trolling Maher and the Cowboys
Best Brett Maher memes after Cowboys kicker missed another extra point vs 49ers
Ruthless, but no surprising.
Getting back to the matter at hand, we absolutely loathe the idea of calling for someone’s job, but Maher seemingly still has the yips. Perhaps he was spooked by the impeding 49ers defenders, but that’s going above and beyond looking for excuses.
An extra point should be nothing more than muscle memory for a professional kicker, and Maher’s kick, as Olsen put it, was going to miss by at least 10 feet, if not more.
Tristan Vizcaino not being on the active roster puts the Cowboys at a crossroads: trust that Maher will redeem himself, or go for two after touchdowns and every fourth down inside 49ers territory. After this latest miss, Dallas fans would likely side with the latter.
So much for Jerry Jones’ pregame pep talk after the 49ers played mind games with Maher by interrupting his pregame routine. The Cowboys kicker is lost mentally and in a historic slump, and there’s no sense in hoping he breaks out of it with the season on the line.