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Dak Prescott Throws Helmet in Frustration After Brett Maher’s Third Missed PAT

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A tough first half for Cowboys kicker Brett Maher ignited a strong reaction from Dak Prescott just before halftime against the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

After the teams exchanged punts over the first four series, Prescott and the Cowboys rattled off three consecutive touchdown drives to build a commanding lead over Tom Brady and the Bucs. Instead of going up 21–0, however, Dallas would take a sizable yet slightly concerning 18–0 lead into the break after kicker Brett Maher missed three straight extra-point attempts.

Shortly after Maher, who made 50 of his 54 PATs during the regular season, whiffed wide left on his third attempt, ESPN cameras caught a visibly irritated Prescott walking to the Cowboys bench. The veteran QB appeared to slam his helmet in frustration after Maher’s miss, and could also be seen yelling, “Go for f------ two,” a clear indication that he would’ve preferred the team attempt a two-point conversion instead of stick with the struggling kicker.

Prescott’s pain was echoed by another fellow QB in Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who briefly walked away from ESPN2’s Manningcast in disgust after the miss.

Maher would go on to add a fourth missed PAT after Prescott led the Cowboys to another TD drive on their first series of the third quarter to take a 24–0 lead. The four-year pro now holds the record for the most missed extra points ever in a playoff game, though he did mercifully make his fifth attempt after the Cowboys scored again in the fourth quarter to give them a 31–6 advantage.

While Maher’s unfortunate calamity of errors may have been tough to watch for Dallas as a whole, the combination of Prescott’s play and the Cowboys’ top-notch defense still managed to establish a nice start for the NFC’s No. 5 seed. 

Should Dallas keep up the pace, it’s possible Maher’s follies won’t prevent the club from capturing its first playoff win since 2018. Let’s just hope for his sake that’s what happens, although it’s possible he’ll still be hearing plenty more about it if the Cowboys move on to the divisional round.