The Cowboys made an unexpected move yesterday as five players had to be cut in order to bring the roster total to 80 players.
Dallas opted to waive linebacker Christian Sam, wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson and cornerback Quandre Mosley. The Cowboys also placed veteran tight end Jeremy Sprinkle on an injury designation that won’t allow him to play for the Cowboys in 2021.
The headlining roster move was waiving kicker Lirim Hajrullahu who was in a kicking competition with Brett Maher. The reason the move was unexpected is that both kickers have had few chances to showcase their skills through the first two preseason games.
Hajrullahu has gone 1/2 on field goal tries, hitting a 35-yarder in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He also knocked in an extra point attempt against Los Angeles.
Maher has gone 0/1 on field goals and has nailed three extra point attempts.
Mike McCarthy said the reason Maher won the job is because of his leg strength and the confidence he’s shown in games and training camp. McCarthy also noted Maher did a better job with kickoffs.
Is this truly the end of the kicking competition?
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the Dallas coaching staff is still looking at other kickers before the final roster cut comes along.
With the Cowboys’ last preseason matchup being played on Friday, Dallas will need to act fast to add a kicker to compete with Maher for the job.
One player Dallas could look to add is Eddy Pineiro who was waived from the New York Jets yesterday. Pineiro was with the Chicago Bears in 2019 and he hit 82% of his field goals and 93% of his extra points.
Injuries knocked him out of the 2020 season before he joined the Jets last year. With New York, Pineiro played in only five games but made 100% of his field goals and 90% of his extra points.
Michael Gallup avoids injury list
There was a possibility Gallup would land on the injured reserve list, which would rule him out for the first four weeks of the season. But reports from training camp are that Gallup is progressing well in his rehab of his torn ACL from the end of last season.
McCarthy had this to say about Gallup’s status, per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News:
“You know how this fourth quarter goes in the rehab. All I can tell you is when we have the meeting every morning, (associate athletic trainer) Britt Brown is obviously running the rehab, and he feels real good about Michael’s progress as far as his timeline and so forth. He hasn’t had any setbacks, and I hope we will continue to be blessed with that process. He’s doing really well.”
Gallup has already ruled himself out of the Cowboys’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying it’s “not a reasonable possibility” he’s ready to go. But as long as the fifth-year receiver avoids the PUP list he’ll be able to return as early as Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals.