Entering the playoffs in the 2022 NFL season, it appeared the Dallas Cowboys had finally found their kicker in Brett Maher. He had an incredibly efficient regular season, making 29 of his 32 field goal attempts. He went 9/9 from 20-29 yards out, 5/5 from 30-39 yards out, 6/7 from 40-49 yards out, and 9/11 from 50+ yards out. Heading into the postseason, Maher’s kicking was pretty low on the Cowboys list of concerns about their team.
Then the Wild Card Round happened where Maher missed an NFL -ecord of four PAT’s. It seemed unfathomable after how consistent he had been throughout the year, but it happened. To make matters worse for him, he had his first PAT attempt blocked the following week against the San Francisco 49ers.
Even if it hadn’t been blocked, it appeared as if it was not going to be on target. Whether Maher suddenly fell down to earth from his magnificent regular season, or if he just had his confidence shaken up in the playoffs, the front office took notice.
On February 1, Jerry Jones said that the team will be moving on from Maher, and will start over at the kicker position.
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are starting over at kicker— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) February 1, 2023
This feels like a potentially wrong move for the Dallas Cowboys. One bad playoff stretch should not outweigh the incredible season that Maher had with the team. It is important to remember that not only was Maher consistent with his accuracy during the season, he has an incredibly strong leg. He has made four 60-yard field goals throughout his career, while no other kicker in league history has made more than two.
If the Cowboys front office really has decided to move in a different direction at the position, they should look at a familiar foe. San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould is currently a free agent, and he is the most appealing option on the market.
Gould is a veteran kicker, currently at the age of 40 years old; however, he has been nothing short of perfect in his playoff career. Throughout 16 playoff games in his career, he is 29/29 on field goals and is 39/39 on extra points. Specifically, he has been incredibly efficient against the Dallas Cowboys in the postseason.
In their Wild Card matchup in the 2021 playoffs, Gould went 3/3 on field goal attempts and 2/2 on extra point attempts. In their divisional matchup in the 2022 playoffs, Gould went 4/4 on field goal attempts and made his only extra point attempt as well.
Gould would not be the answer of the future for the Cowboys, but considering the front office in Dallas has approached this offseason with win-now objective, it makes sense to sign Gould to a contract for this upcoming season.