The Cowboys proclaimed their confidence in Brett Maher after his disastrous wild-card performance Monday night, telling nearly everyone who asked that they would stick with their kicker, despite him missing an NFL-record four PAT attempts versus Tampa Bay.
But they’ve decided that a little insurance wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The team will sign Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad, as reported by NFL insider Tom Pelissero Wednesday afternoon. The team appears ready to leave Maher in place as Sunday’s starter in San Francisco, but will have a backup option in case efforts to get the veteran specialist back on track are derailed.
Vizcaino first entered the league in 2019 and has bounced around with eight different teams since then, including a short stint in Dallas. He signed a reserve/futures contract and lasted four months during the 2020 offseason.
Most of his experience has been on the practice squads of those clubs; the University of Washington product has made 11 career field goals on 12 total attempts, and 15 of 20 extra-point tries.
Vizcaino’s most recent action came in Week 10 of this season, when he was a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs and 2-for-2 on field goals for Arizona in a win over the Seahawks.
The 26-year-old actually played briefly for the 49ers at the tail end of the 2020 season and kicked in a 49ers home game, but it was not outdoors at Levi’s Stadium, where this Sunday’s divisional matchup will take place. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 49ers based several of their home games that year in Glendale, Ariz.; Vizcaino booted his first three NFL field goals (and two PATs) at the Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium, despite San Francisco being the designated home team.