The Dallas Cowboys signed Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad after starting kicker Brett Maher endured a historically inaccurate playoff performance on Monday.
Maher missed an NFL-record four extra point attempts in the Cowboys’ blowout 31-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The 33-year-old became the first player in any NFL game since 1932 to miss four extra points in a regular-season or playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau – a span of 16,207 games.
On Wednesday, the team signed Vizcaino to the practice squad as insurance, although the team stressed its confidence in Maher ahead of Dallas’ clash against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
“I think the biggest thing is just to make sure you got a good plan with Brett moving forward. Just make sure he’s ready,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said after the win.
NFL rules allow teams to elevate two players from the practice squad on game day, in addition to the 53-man roster.
Maher had enjoyed a career-best year, converting 90.6% of his field-goal attempts and connecting on 50 of 53 extra-point attempts. Over his career, he has made 81% of his field goals and 95.5% of his extra points before Monday’s playoff game.
Dallas special teams coordinator John Fassel said Maher was suffering from the “yips” on Monday.
“And you wonder sometimes how you get into the yips, and you wonder sometimes how you get back into the hot hand,” Fassel said on Tuesday, per ESPN. “I think it’s keep stepping up to the line and shooting that thing. We missed a couple of free throws [Monday].
“He had a hot hand. Let’s face it, he only missed [six] kicks all season. The yips happen, so I expect a hot hand coming up.”
Vizcaino is in his fifth NFL season and has played in three games this year for the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots, hitting all five of his attempts (two field goals and three extra points) in Arizona’s Week 10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The 26-year-old has converted 91.7% of his field goals and 75% of his extra points.
According to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Vizcaino will earn a weekly wage of $11,500 having been signed to Dallas’ practice squad.