Brett Maher is the only kicker on the Cowboys’ active roster today, so they ride or die with him after his struggles the past two weeks.
Maher made 14 of 18 attempts in pregame warmups, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer, with the kicker’s misses coming from 53 (right), 58 (left), 39 (right) and 54 yards (short). Archer reports that there is a swirling wind in the stadium.
A hubbub broke out between the teams as Maher carried out his pre-match work. In obvious playmanship trying to get inside Maher’s head, some 49ers players didn’t get out of the way as Maher attempted to kick. It prompted a “tested” back-and-forth with Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel, injured long snapper Jake McQuaid and punter/holder Bryan Anger, per Archer.
Video shows 49ers kicker Robbie Gould tries to defuse the situation.
Owner Jerry Jones gave Maher an unusual, if not unprecedented, pep talk on the field.
Maher faces as much pressure as any player in today’s game in Santa Clara.
He missed his only kick — a PAT — in Washington in Week 18 and followed that up by setting an NFL record with four missed extra runs in the wildcard game in Tampa. Maher made his final attempt against the Bucs.
Maher went 50 of 53 extra points in the regular season, with two of those blocks.