Brett Maher is the only kicker on the Cowboys’ active roster today, so they are riding or dying with him after his struggles the past two weeks.
Maher made 14-of-18 attempts in pregame warmups, according to Todd Archer of ESPN, with the kicker’s misses coming from 53 (right), 58 (left), 39 (right) and 54 yards (short). Archer reports there is a swirling wind in the stadium.
A brouhaha broke out between the teams as Maher was going through his pregame work. In some obvious gamesmanship, trying to get into Maher’s head, some 49ers players wouldn’t move out of the way as Maher was attempting to kick. That prompted a “testy” back and forth with Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel, injured long snapper Jake McQuaid and punter/holder Bryan Anger, per Archer.
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 by setting an NFL record with four missed extra points in the wild-card game in Tampa. Maher made his final attempt against the Bucs.
Maher went 50-of-53 on extra points in the regular season, with two of those blocks.