Cowboys add kicker after Brett Maher’s four missed extra points

The Dallas Cowboys signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad ahead of Sunday’s NFC divisional round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

Vizcaino adds depth to the position after veteran kicker Brett Maher missed four extra-point attempts during the Cowboys’ 31-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Cowboys plan to stick with Maher against the 49ers, but Vizcaino is a nice insurance policy given he has made 91.7% of his career field goals.

By comparison, Maher made 90.6% of his field goals this season. His struggles in the wild-card game still raised concerns and prompted the Cowboys to make a move.

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‘We need Brett. He understands that. We need to get back on it this week and get him ready to go,’ Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters via ESPN. ‘Obviously we’re kicking at an outdoor stadium out there in Santa Clara. But you know, yeah, he’s disappointed.’

It remains to be seen if Vizcaino will be active Sunday. NFL rules stipulate that teams can elevate two practice squad players on game day. The Cowboys would have to add Vizcaino to the active 53-man roster.

NFL teams rarely carry two kickers during the regular season. The magnitude of the upcoming playoff matchup against the 49ers could sway the Cowboys to reverse course.

Vizcaino has appeared in NFL games this season with the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. He handled kicking duties for the Cardinals in Week 10, making two field goals and three extra points in the appearance. Vizcaino also handled kickoff duties with the Patriots for two games in December.

Vizcaino has played with four teams since 2020, and his career-long field goal is 47 yards.

Vizcaino’s career began with the 49ers before playing with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021. That season, Vizcaino played in six games and converted 10 of 15 extra-point attempts. He finished the campaign on the Chargers practice squad.

Maher will get a chance at redemption against the 49ers on Sunday. He had a strong 2022 season that included 137 points scored. It was the most points by a Cowboys kicker in franchise history.

‘We need him,’ McCarthy said. ‘We need him to focus in. He’s been super clutch for us all year.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY