FRISCO - Maybe Greg Zuerlien’s kicks were “scared straight”?
Prior to the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 2 win at the Chargers, there were just enough worries about Zuerlein’s work that a second kicker was signed. Then Zuerlein nailed the game-winning 56-yard field goal to beat L.A., a boot that capped a last-minute drive engineered by QB Dak Prescott.
Zuerlein got a game call for his efforts. (Long-snapper Jake McQuaide sprinted into the end zone after the kick to retrieve the literal game ball.)
And suddenly there is again just one kicker here at The Star.
The Cowboys have released kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, cutting him loose from the practice squad … and from being Zuerlein’s shadow at practice.
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Special-teams coordinator “Bones” Fassel had claimed that the second kicker was signed to provide practice rest for Zuerlein, who underwent offseason back surgery. But in fact, Zuerlein opened the season poorly, in Week 1 missing on two of his field-goal attempts and a PAT is a close loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Why the move? In addition to using the practice squad spot for a more needy position … Maybe Zuerlein’s leg suddenly got stronger.
Or maybe the Cowboys’ confidence in his leg suddenly got stronger.
The Cowboys now turn their attention to Week 3 as Dallas takes on the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football next week. Both teams are 1-1 this season, and if the game comes down to a kick, the Cowboys obviously feel Greg Zuerlein is the right guy.