Cowboys won't replace kicker Maher vs. 49ers despite PAT misses originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As most football fans know, NFL playoff games often come down to one final kick.
And with the Dallas Cowboys preparing to face the 49ers on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, they evidently trust kicker Brett Maher to make such a kick after he missed an NFL-record four PAT attempts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.
The Cowboys eliminated Tom Brady and the Bucs from the playoffs despite Maher's misses, and Dallas owner Jerry Jones made it clear postgame that the team won't replace Maher moving forward.
"No. No. We won’t [look at kickers this week],” Jones said after Monday night's game (h/t ProFootballTalk). “He’s done enough good ones. I don’t think he’s blown the socket or whatever you do.”
Maher's performance was the lone blemish on an otherwise commanding performance by the Cowboys, who blew out the Buccaneers in the final game of Super Wild Card Weekend.
The 33-year-old missed his first four PAT attempts, putting Dallas up 24-0, instead of 28-0. He made his fifth and final attempt, however, as Dallas walked out of the wild-card round with a 31-14 win.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy expressed the team's need for Maher to figure things out against San Francisco this Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
Known as "Money Maher" both by fans and on social media, the kicker made 94 percent of his PAT attempts through 17 regular season games in 2022. But along with a miss against the Washington Commanders in Week 18, Maher now is just one for his last six tries after Monday night's performance.
His quarterback, Dak Prescott, angrily yelled from the sideline after one of Maher's misses against Tampa Bay.
But after the game, Prescott backed the kicker.
The 49ers, on the other hand, are as good as gold in the kicking department as Robbie Gould hasn't missed a PAT or field goal in the playoffs ever.
And while Sunday's game between the Cowboys and 49ers is expected to be a battle on both sides of the ball, special teams could play the biggest role of all.
Because in the playoffs, and especially against a red-hot team like San Francisco, every point matters -- even if you get lucky the first time.