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#pounditSunday, May 19, 2024

Cowboys make decision on kicker Brett Maher

Brett Maher on the sideline

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

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher had a historically bad game in Monday night’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the performance will not cost him his job — at least not yet.

Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel told reporters on Wednesday that he believes Maher is suffering from a case of the yips. He noted that the kicker only missed six kicks (three field goals and three extra points) all season. Maher used a basketball analogy while explaining that the only cure for the yips is to keep kicking.

“I think it’s keep stepping up to the line and shooting that thing,” Fassel said, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “We missed a couple of free throws [Monday] … He had a hot hand. Let’s face it, he only missed [six] kicks all season. The yips happen, so I expect a hot hand coming up.”

When asked directly if Maher will remain the Cowboys’ kicker for Sunday’s Divisional Round game against the San Francisco 49ers, Fassel threw his full support behind the veteran.

“Hell yeah,” he said. “If you ask me, absolutely.”

Maher missed four extra points in Dallas’ 31-14 victory over the Bucs. He is the first kicker to ever miss four extra points in a game.

Head coach Mike McCarthy indicated after the NFC Wild Card game that he had no intention of replacing Maher before the second round.

One embarrassing detail from Monday night’s game showed just how inaccurate Maher’s extra-point attempts were. The yips are a mental block that causes issues performing routine plays, and Maher will now have to find a way to get past them.

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