Brett Maher Jan 16, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys place kicker Brett Maher (19) in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kicker Brett Maher was a major talking point for the Dallas Cowboys coming out of their Wild Card Round win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maher missed four extra points, one of Dallas’ few blemishes in an otherwise fantastic game. As Maher was warming up ahead of Sunday’s Divisional Round Game against the San Francisco 49ers, the issues came back. It did not go unnoticed.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic detailed Maher’s issues at Levi’s Stadium.

“Brett Maher just missed a 43-yarder about 20 feet wide right after 2 earlier misses right from shorter distance. Then made two. Then missed another wide right,” Kawakami tweeted.

Kawakami then noted that Maher’s misses were at the open end of the stadium. But when he went to the closed end of the field, he only made roughly half of his kicks.

Kawakami then reported that after two more misses, team owner Jerry Jones went over and spoke with him on the field. Michael Gehlkin of The Dallas Morning News, meanwhile, had video of the conversation between Maher and Jones.

While the Cowboys did sign kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad in the aftermath of Maher’s poor game in Tampa, both Jones and coach Mike McCarthy expressed confidence in Maher going forward. Maher’s performance in practices seemed to indicate that his Wild Card Round struggles were nothing more than a bad day. The pregame issues on Sunday, though, point to something else.

A poor pregame warmup doesn’t mean that Maher will struggle during the game. But it can’t be anything that the Cowboys are excited to see just before a playoff game.

[Tim Kawakami, Michael Gehlken]

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