Cowboys Sign New Kicker After ‘Perfect Workout’

Lirim Hajrullahu

Getty The Cowboys are expected to sign kicker Lirim Hajrullahu.

With Greg Zuerlein sidelined on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday tapped his Week 10 replacement.

The Cowboys signed Lirim Hajrullahu who likely will be the starting placekicker for Sunday’s home meeting with the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced. Hajrullahu landed his contract following a two-player audition at The Star that also included former Dallas K Brett Maher.

“Cowboys are signing kicker Lirim Hajrullahu after he went a perfect 12-for-12 on field goals in his workout today, source said. Brett Maher also had a strong day, but Hajrullahu receives nod with Greg Zuerlein (COVID-19 protocol) unlikely to be available Sunday vs. Falcons,” Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported.

Zuerlein, who was moved to the COVID list Tuesday, is in a race against time to suit up against Atlanta. It’s unclear as of this writing whether the 33-year-old tested positive for the coronavirus or came in close contact with an infected individual. If vaccinated, he must return two negative tests spaced 24 hours apart and remain asymptomatic for 48 hours.

“Still hopeful Greg can hopefully, you know, potentially be ready (Sunday),” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, per the official team website. “I know it’s against the odds, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Zuerlein, 33, has converted 14 of 18 field goals and 21-of-23 extra points across eight appearances this season, largely reliable following a shaky Week 1 outing in which he missed two FG tries and one XP attempt.

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Background on Hajrullahu

A native of Yugoslavia whose family migrated to Canada, Hajrullahu went undrafted out of the University of Western Ontario in 2014. He then bounced around the Canadian Football League with stops in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Hamilton — stops that earned him various honors, including CFL West Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, two-time CFL East All-Star nods, and a Grey Cup championship.

Hajrullahu, 31, broke into the NFL in 2020, nearly winning the Los Angeles Rams’ kicking competition before latching onto the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, from which he was released this past March.

Hajrullahu originally joined the Cowboys in August while Zuerlein was still recovering from back surgery. He appeared in the club’s second preseason contest, connecting on two extra points and averaging 66.7 yards per kickoff. Dallas released him from its offseason roster on August 24 and from its practice squad on September 21.


Meet the Dallas Cowboys new kicker Lirim Hajrullahu!!!70-yard kick with the wind and a 55-yard kick against it 🤷‍♂️ Credit and please follow | Lirim Hajrullahu at youtube.com/user/Lhajrull Another source Credit instagram.com/p/CWHAcnwFBgJ/ This is the official YouTube page of Law Nation. It is the perfect way to keep up with everything about sports and film breakdown on your desktop or mobile devices.…2021-11-10T21:23:59Z

 

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Zeke Issues Injury Update

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in and out of the team’s loss to Denver, spotted throughout the game with a wrap — a heating pad — around his right knee. Elliott finished with 51 yards on 10 carries amid the 30-16 stunner.

Fortunately, the two-time NFL rushing champ escaped Week 9 mostly unharmed, and doesn’t appear hampered heading into Sunday’s home matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

“My knee feels pretty good,” Elliott told reporters Wednesday, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I probably did more today than what I’ve been doing in the past. … I just kind of took a bad fall on it during the game and it was sore, but it’s more something I just have to keep moving around, keep warm.”


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