Zuerlein missed two field goals and an extra point attempt that may have given the Cowboys the lead. He still managed to nail the field goal that put the Cowboys ahead late in the fourth quarter, but the offense let Tom Brady get too much time to lead the game-winning drive.
The All-Pro kicker appeared to be down on himself when addressing reporters after the game.
“If I do my job, we win that game,” he said, via the team’s website. “So I feel bad for the guys in there that played their a– off and I didn’t hold up my end of the deal.”
Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein reacts after missing a field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Zuerlein has been known throughout his career as being a reliable kicker – whether it was with the Los Angeles Rams or the Cowboys. Last season, he was 34-for-41 on field goals and 33-for-36 on extra-point attempts.
He was called upon to kick a 31-yard field goal that he missed and then came up just short on a long 60-yard attempt. He hadn’t made a field goal longer than 59 yards since 2015.
“No excuses. If I’m out there I should make the kicks. There’s no excuses,” he said.
Dallas coach Mike McCarthy still showed support for Zuerlein.
“I have great faith and confidence in him, and we need him. He made the clutch, clutch kick there at the end to give us the lead before the two-minute drive by Tampa,” he said.