No matter how you slice it, the Cowboys’ Brett Maher has been one of the NFL’s best kickers so far in 2022. From overall scoring to accuracy to range, his work on field goals has had few rivals. But one area that doesn’t get a lot of attention, and really should in more recent years, is extra point attempts.
We’ve always taken extra point kicks for granted, but it’s important to remember that in 2015 the NFL changed the nature of these kicks dramatically. Whereas teams used to attempt these kicks from the 2-yard-line, the rule change seven years ago moved them out to the 15. They are now essentially a 32-yard field goal.
Sure, that’s still a short kick. But what used to essentially be an automatic process was given a degree of challenge to make it more relevant and interesting.
With this increased room for error, some NFL kickers already have a few misses this year. Minnesota’s Greg Joseph has already missed five of his 29 attempts. And while that’s only five total points over the last 12 weeks, we know how easily a game can swing on even the slimmest of margins.
As with the rest of his résumé in 2022, Maher is among the league’s best in this area as well. Out of 31 attempts, which is second-most in the NFL so far this year, he’s only had one miss. And that one was blocked in Dallas’ Week 4 game against the Washington Commanders.
Interestingly, while Maher’s accuracy with field goals is a big difference from his previous Cowboys tenure in 2018-2019, he’s always been strong with extra points. Even back then, Maher made 68 of 69 extra-point attempts.
This is yet another way that Maher has given Dallas a much-needed lift at kicker from the last two years with Greg Zuerlein. From 2020-2021, Zuerlein only made 75 of 82 attempted extra points. And even when they were made, we remember how many times those kicks looked dangerously close to going wide.
Much like the majority of his field goals this year, Maher’s extra points don’t cause anxiety as they cruise right down the middle of the goalposts. It’s just another way that Maher’s showing how in the zone he is right now.
Championship teams may not need greatness in all areas, but they rarely can afford any glaring liabilities. Brett Maher has not only stopped the Cowboys from having a weak spot at kicker, but he’s putting together one of the truly elite seasons among his peers in 2022. He’s been a key to Dallas’ success so far and hopefully will get some Pro Bowl recognition for his contributions.