Cowboys Terminate New Signing Before Thanksgiving Game

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

Getty Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

Deeming his services no longer necessary, the Dallas Cowboys terminated kicker Lirim Hajrullahu from the practice squad, the team announced Tuesday, November 23.

Hajrullahu was signed prior to the Cowboys’ Week 10 blowout of the Atlanta Falcons, filling in while starter Greg Zuerlein was mothballed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The former Canadian Football League All-Star did not attempt a field goal but drilled all five extra-point tries amid the 43-3 victory.

Hajrullahu also notched seven touchbacks on as many kickoffs, with a long boot of 65 yards.

The 31-year-old reverted to the practice squad after the game, coinciding with Zuerlein’s return. Zuerlein suited up in Sunday’s loss at Kansas City, making three FGs — from 33, 30, and 48 yards. Three of his four kickoffs were returned, however.

With no other kickers left on the active roster or practice team, Zuerlein is entrenched as Dallas’ primary specialist entering Thursday’s home contest against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Gallup Ready to Rock in Cooper, Lamb’s Stead

Although CeeDee Lamb is “making progress” in the NFL’s concussion protocol, head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday, the second-year wide receiver remains unlikely to play on Thanksgiving Day. Lamb’s absence coincides with that of Amari Cooper, who’s sidelined on the COVID-19 list.

Michael Gallup will function as Dallas’ de facto WR1 versus Vegas. Gallup, freshly healed from a weeks-long calf strain, recorded five catches for 44 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs — 44 of the club’s modest 194 air yards.

“It’s just next man up, that’s just how it’s supposed to go,” Gallup said Tuesday, November 23, via the official Cowboys website. “That’s how we should have been but we weren’t, we weren’t ready for it.”

Coming to town is a Raiders opponent whose secondary is surprisingly stout, surrendering 220.8 passing yards per game, the 10th-best mark in the league. Gallup will be flanked by Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, and Malik Turner, which are far cries from Lamb and Cooper. But this is no time for pity-gathering or excuse-making.

Just win, baby.

“It ain’t nothing really to it, you just got win,” Gallup echoed. “We just ain’t been winning. We need to win, that’s all I can say about that.”

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Zeke Promises to Power Through Knee Issue

Battered and bruised, his body aching from wear-and-tear, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott vowed not to miss Thursday’s tilt despite a knee ailment that he characterized as ongoing soreness.

“It’s football. You get hurt. You aren’t going to be 100 percent,” Elliott said Tuesday, November 23, via beat reporter Brianna Dix. “I’m tough. Play through it.”

Elliott is dealing with “a little bone bruise,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones revealed Monday, one day after the $90 million RB sustained an aggravating shot to his lower leg.

“It’s been there, but, you know, he’s a competitor. He’s tough,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Dix.

Elliott nonetheless was listed as a full participant in Tuesday’s practice and is expected to start against the Raiders’ 30th-ranked run defense, which yields 132.1 rushing yards per game.

“I think it will be a point for us Thursday to get that run game going,” he said, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.


READ NEXT: Cowboys Coach Linked to New Job Rumor After Chiefs Loss

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL


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