Brett Maher’s extra-point kicking woes traveled with him on the Dallas Cowboys team plane from Tampa Bay to the Bay Area.
Maher infamously missed four straight extra points after Cowboys touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week in the wild-card round of the playoffs, which led Dallas to look into potential replacement options.
Head coach Mike McCarthy might have to think about going for two again if his team scores another touchdown, as Maher once again couldn’t convert the extra point to make it 7-3 in the first half.
And while this one was blocked, replay showed that Maher didn’t kick it from the left hash properly. Off his foot, the ball seems to be shanked to the left already before a San Francisco 49ers player gets his hand on it for the block.
Maher has now missed five of his last six extra-point attempts. NFL Network pointed out that only eight extra points have been blocked this season, including the playoffs.
Maher’s struggles have gotten Cowboys fans livid, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“I swear, I can kick as good as the Dallas Cowboys kicker,” he tweeted.
The Cowboys could once again be forced to take placekicking out of their game plan, which is never a good thing for an offense.
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott was even seen last week screaming on the sideline after Maher continued to miss following the offense’s tough drives that resulted in six points.
While it was a blowout in Tampa Bay, sometimes extra points can be the difference between a win or a loss. With this being the playoffs, every point counts.
That’s why no one could blame McCarthy going for it on 4th-and-4 at the two-minute warning in the first half despite being in Maher’s field goal range. Prescott would end up running for the first down to keep the drive going, but will McCarthy continue to go for it in these situations moving forward?
He will have to think long and hard about what he wants to do not just on the Cowboys’ next touchdown but every field goal decision moving forward in this win-or-go-home matchup.