Brett Maher gets shaky: Cowboys hire kicker Tristan Vizcaino for practice squad

The words of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy had not made very clear their intentions for the future of kicker Brett Maher after he missed an all-time high of four extra points during the 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football of Super Wild Card Weekend.

This Wednesday we know two things, the first is that Maher will most likely get one more chance and be the team’s kicker when they visit the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium and the second is that there is already a plan in place for someone to take his place if he doesn’t improve markedly in Santa Clara, California.

Who is Tristan Vizcaino?

The Cowboys have signed kicker Tristan Vizcaino to their practice squad, meaning Maher already has competition from a player who after not being selected in the 2018 Draft out of the University of Washington has bounced around multiple teams without being able to earn a permanent spot in the NFL.

Vizcaino has been on the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, while only briefly being on the active roster of the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals in his five seasons as a pro.

Is there confidence in Dallas for Brett Maher?

“We need Brett. He understands that. We need to get back on it this week and get him ready to go,” McCarthy said. “Obviously we’re kicking at an outdoor stadium out there in Santa Clara. But you know, yeah, he’s disappointed. We need him. We need him to focus in. He’s been super clutch for us all year.”

The Cowboys look to beat the 49ers to advance to their first NFC Championship Game since defeating the Philadephia Eagles on Jan. 7, 1996 to face and beat the Green Bay Packers a week later to reach Super Bowl XXX where they would defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers.