FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have not employed a healthy first-string place-kicker all summer, but that could change in Sunday's preseason closer against the Jaguars. So Greg Zuerlein is ready to come off PUP ... and Lirim Hajrullahu, a native of Kosovo who at age 9 reportedly emigrated to Canada with his family as refugees, is out the door.
The Cowboys used Hajrullahu, 31, spent six seasons kicking in the Canadian Football League and was a two-time All-Star and a Grey Cup champion, in last week's preseason game against Houston. Hajrullahu has bounced around the NFL a bit, most recently having been in the training camp of the Carolina Panthers.
And he was fine last Saturday, having previously spent a summer with the Los Angeles Rams, where Bones Fassel, the Rams special-teams coordinator who is now in Dallas, became familiar with him.
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The Cowboys have on their roster veteran punter Bryan Anger ... but last week they cut former XFL punter Hunter Niswander due to a physical issue. Niswander, who was with Dallas last year and had this summer served as the fill-in kicker for Zuerlein.
But now? Zuerlein, the former Pro Bowler with the Rams, seems to have successfully worked through an offseason back surgery. He is expected to be fine for the NFL season-opening game in September when the Cowboys visit the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Cowboys are aiming to have the No. 1 offense in the NFL. That effort will be helped if they have their No. 1 kicker - and in "Greg the Leg,'' it seems they now do.
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