HomeSportsNFLFormer NFL Player Offers Advice to Dallas Cowboys Kicker Brett Maher

Former NFL Player Offers Advice to Dallas Cowboys Kicker Brett Maher

by Suzanne Halliburton
cowboys sticking with kicker brett maher against 49ers
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Martin Gramatica, a one-time kicker for the Dallas Cowboys, offered some easy advice for embattled Brett Maher.

Yes, Gramatica says, you remember the four missed extra points in the Cowboys super wildcard playoff win over Tampa Bay. (In fact, fans also can’t ignore it actually was a streak of five straight missed extra points dating back to the regular season finale loss to Washington.).

Now, forget it all. Literally. Dwelling on the negative details with a playoff road game looming against San Francisco does no one any good. In fact, you might miss more.

“The message I guarantee you from his teammates and coaches is, You got us here,” said Gramatica, who kicked for the Cowboys and was a two-time All-American at Kansas State.

“You helped us get here,” he told TMZ Sports. “Some of your game-winners got us here So, forget about it. Next game, we’re going to need you.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that “moving forward” Brett Maher is his guy. But he didn’t sound fully committed. “We’ve got to forge ahead with him,” the coach said. “That’s the plan for now.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Dallas is “likely” to bring in another kicker this week for competition. But the Cowboys expect Brett Maher to be the kicker against the 49ers.

Oddsmakers have the 49ers as a 3.5-point favorite. It goes without saying that Dallas can’t afford to leave extra points on the field.

Coming into this past Monday’s game, Brett Maher had enjoyed a decent season. He’s one of 10 full-time kickers in the NFL who made at least 90 percent of his field goal attempts. And he’s the only kicker in the league who’s hit an attempt of at least 60 yards. (He did so against the Vikings). Plus, he’s eight of 10 from 50-plus. The only kickers in the NFL with better percentages are Daniel Carson and Graham Gano. Overall, Maher was 29 of 32 for his field goals, with his only misses coming from 57, 57 and 46 yards. Understatement = this former Nebraska star has a big, lively leg.

So if you need a field goal to win a game, Brett Maher is your guy. But the easy points crushed Maher in Tampa. The Cowboys won, 31-14, and didn’t need the four points he left on the field. No other kicker in the history of the NFL has missed four extra points in a single game.

Cowboys special teams coach Jim Fassel said he believes Maher had a bad case of the yips. And, there were different issues that threw Maher out of his mental routine. The refs told his holder that he couldn’t use a single blade of white grass to mark a spot. The Cowboys brought three balls to use for field goals and extra points. The first two ended up in the stands and weren’t returned.

“You wonder sometimes how you get into the yips,” Fassel said, “and you wonder sometimes how you get into the hot hand. … He had a hot hand. Let’s face it: He missed four kicks all season. … And then, the yips happen. So, I expect a hot hand coming up.”