Leading 20-3 with 31 seconds left in the first half, the Cowboys recovered the ball at their own 14-yard line after the Vikings’ punt. They ran a rushing offense trying to take the score before halftime.
On second and 4 from the Dallas 31-yard line, Duck Prescott Rolled right and shot an arrow down the right sideline to Sir Lambwho pulled the pass and was out of bounds at the Minnesota 42-yard line—just on the edge of Maher’s expected field goal range.
The Cowboys let the game clock run out before calling a timeout to set up a field goal attempt. Maher then tapped a 60-yard kick just inside the right upright, and the Cowboys took a 23-3 halftime lead. Or so it seemed.
As the Cowboys celebrated the kick, referee Clay Martin announced that Lamb’s catch was under review. They apparently blew the play before Maher’s kick hit. They wanted to emphasize that Lamb successfully secured the ball on the sideline takeover. They decided to run the review around 1:40 in real time after Lamb’s catch—just in time for Maher to kick the field goal, which was erased from the board.
After the review, the play stood. The officials didn’t see enough to overturn him. But Maher had to kick again.
Not a problem. Maher’s second kick was even better, sailing straight through the middle of the uprights to secure a 23-3 lead.
Icing kickers are generally the domain of competitive coaches. It didn’t matter to Maher, who made sure the accident of the responsible crew didn’t cost the Cowboys points.