FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' kicker competition might be starting to take shape.
Though not finalized yet, the Cowboys are expected to sign free agent Lirim Hajrullahu, who kicked in one game last season as a COVID-19 replacement for Greg Zuerlein.
Once officially signed, Hajrullahu would compete with rookie Jonathan Garibay for the kicker opening. The Cowboys like Garibay's potential, and he kicked well during the offseason program, but it was always likely that the club would sign another kicker for competition and depth during a long camp and preseason.
The Cowboys released Zuerlein in March to save $2.25 million in salary cap space. The veteran kicker made 82.9% of his field goal attempts in two seasons with the Cowboys, going 63-for-76 overall and 5-for-14 from 50-plus yards. He also missed nine extra points in two seasons, including a career-high six last year.
Hajrullahu made his regular-season debut last Nov. 13 filling in for Zuerlein and went 5-for-5 on extra points in the Cowboys' 43-3 blowout win over the Falcons. Released by the Cowboys 10 days later, Hajrullahu appeared in three games for the Panthers late in the season and made 4-of-5 field goal attempts.
Hajrullahu also appeared in one preseason game for the Cowboys last August and had a brief stay on the practice squad after Zuerlein struggled in the season opener against the Bucs. Prior to the NFL, he was a two-time CFL All-Star with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Cowboys have an open spot on the 90-man roster and do not need to make a move to make room for Hajrullahu.