TAMPA — After Brett Maher missed his third PAT kick of the night, shortly before halftime, Dak Prescott had a major sideline eruption. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback took off his helmet and slammed it to the ground. Then he began yelling in disgust.
Prescott’s tirade probably expressed the sentiments of the whole Cowboys fan base as Maher went on to miss four PATs – the first time that’s happened since the NFL began tracking the statistic in 1932.
“I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan,” Prescott insisted after the Cowboys advanced to the NFC divisional playoffs with a 31-14 romp over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Obviously, there’s video of me … that’s just emotion,” Prescott added. “That’s part of it.”
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Prescott, who accounted for five TDs against the Bucs in rebounding from a dismal regular-season finale at Washington, made certain to console Maher.
“I talked to him individually after the game and told him, ‘Let that go,’“ Prescott said. “We’re going to need him. I played like (expletive) a week ago. That happens. When you believe in each other and believe in what we’re capable of, knowing what that guy has done and the resiliency he’s shown throughout his career, no doubt he’ll come back next week and help us win.”
The Cowboys will face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. – which presents another grass field. Prescott said it was good to see Maher snapped his string of five consecutive missed PATs, dating to the regular-season finale, by converting in the fourth quarter.
“I have no doubt in Brett and what he’s capable of doing,” Prescott said. “Coming off the game I did, it’s important to see things go well. “
No, the Cowboys won’t be bringing in kickers for tryouts this week. Maher tied for third in the NFL this season with 137 points. He missed just three of his NFL-high 53 PAT kicks and converted on 90.6% of his field goal attempts (29-of-32).
As Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner and GM put it, “he’s done enough good ones.”