The Dallas Cowboys appearance in the 2022 playoffs was short-lived. Perhaps the biggest storyline from the two-game run was Dak Prescott’s two-interception performance against the 49ers in the Divisional Round.
Not far behind, though, was Brett Maher’s nightmare showing against the Buccaneers on Wild Card Weekend.
After playing the part of a top-five kicker in the NFL during the regular season, Maher set the record for most missed extra points (four) in a regular season or playoff game since XPs were first tracked in 1932.
Unfortunately for Maher, his Wild Card performance was enough to lose his job after a superb regular season. Jerry Jones told reporters at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama that Dallas will go in a different direction at kicker.
It’s unclear whom the Cowboys will appoint as their new kicker, but it appears Rob Gronkowski wants a shot at the job.
Now an analyst for Fox, Gronkowski will attempt a 25-yard field goal during the Super Bowl as part of a FanDuel promotion. When asked about the kick at Fox’s Media Day Tuesday, Gronk had a comical message for Jerry Jones.
Rob Gronkowski roasts Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, pokes fun at Brett Maher’s playoff nightmare against the Buccaneers.
Come on, Gronk! Everyone outside of Dallas had forgotten about the Maher debacle. The performance and subsequent discourse nearly overshadowed the Cowboys’ first road playoff win 1992.
Did you really have to do Jones and Maher like this? It just goes to sow that the Cowboys will be the brunt of every joke — even ones that aren’t called for — until they get over the hump and win a Super Bowl.
In all seriousness, this was fair game from Gronkowski. Maher sadly became a national punchline against the Bucs, Gronk’s former team, and Jones didn’t do himself, or the Cowboys, any favors by consoling the kicker during warmups before the 49ers showdown. That was an unprecedented move for a team owner.
At the end of the day, the future Hall of Fame tight end has great respect for kickers and the overall difficulty of their job.
"“It’s a lot of discipline,” Gronkowski added, via USA Today. “I’ve always respected kickers and everything that they’ve done. The respect level has just gone to another degree on what they do. It’s kind of like art. It’s like a formula, it’s special what they can do.”“What’s wild is that when you put that ball down and look up, man, those goalposts look so thin. It’s like they are so close together.”"
It’s the truth. While kicker’s jobs pale in comparison to what position players endure on Sunday’s from a pressure standpoint, it’s impossible to deny the multiple layers — foot placement, body control, follow through, etc. — that require a successful kick.
That said, it’d be great if Gronk shanked his kick Sunday after these comments.