The Cowboys kicked the Buccaneers’ butts all game during their 31-14 rout.
Well, in everything except the actual kicking.
In Monday’s wild-card game, Dallas kicker Brett Maher became the first player in NFL history to miss three extra points in a playoff game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Then he did it again.
Midway through the first quarter, Dak Prescott found Dalton Schultz for a 22-yard touchdown and the game’s first points, but Maher subsequently shanked the extra point wide right.
Maher’s nightmare worsened in the second quarter when he missed wide right again after Prescott’s 1-yard touchdown rush. He decided to shake things up later in the quarter, missing his extra point attempt wide left after Prescott completed an 11-yard TD pass to Schultz.
Prescott could be seen on the broadcast visibly upset after the third miss, and the Cowboys took an 18-0 lead into halftime instead of a 21-0 advantage. Prescott appeared to scream “Go for f–king two” while slamming his helmet on the Dallas sideline. The missed extra points were perhaps the only blemish on what was an otherwise stellar first half for Dallas.
“Oh my gosh,” Eli Manning said on ESPN’s “Manningcast” after the third miss. “I’ve never seen anything like this. What’s going on?”
Peyton Manning mirrored Eli’s sentiment.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said. “Why are we kicking it?”
The Cowboys scored on their opening drive of the second half, but coach Mike McCarthy didn’t follow Prescott or Peyton Manning’s advice. Maher missed his extra point again, clanking his kick off the right upright for his fourth miss of the day.
Finally, Maher hit his first extra point of the game after the Cowboys scored in the fourth quarter, pushing Dallas’ lead to 31-6. But the touchdown — an 18-yard reception by a wide-open CeeDee Lamb, occurred on a 4th-and-four. McCarthy opted to go for it instead of kicking the field goal.
Dallas was in complete control all game, but they appear to have a crisis at kicker for its next playoff matchup. It next faces the 49ers in the NFC Divisional round.
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