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Hyder Feeling "At Home" Rushing From Outside


(Editor's Note: Now that offseason practices are in full swing, let's get to know 30 Cowboys players who are new to the current 90-man roster. Today we begin the series with defensive end Kerry Hyder.

How He Got Here: Hyder has been in the NFL for four years, but has just one big season under his belt. In 2016, after playing only one game in his first two seasons, Hyder exploded for the Lions, recording eight sacks as a rotational player. He only started two games that year, but made a difference for a Lions team that finished 9-7 and made the playoffs as a Wild Card. But since then, injuries have limited him to only seven games played the last two seasons, leaving him as a free agent this summer.

Bet You Didn't Know: Hyder went to a place many of these Cowboys have never been – Valley Ranch. Before the 2014 draft, Hyder was one of the Cowboys' 30 visits and arrived at Valley Ranch, the previous team headquarters for a one-day visit. Hyder went undrafted in 2014 and spent his rookie year on the Jets' practice squad.

Quotable: "That's home for me. It's more natural for me - playing defensive end. I get to use my athletic ability and get on the edge and r usher the passer. That's what I'm looking forward to doing, more than just being right on the nose." -Kerry Hyder (on playing defensive end instead of tackle)

Bryan Broaddus' Take: When first signed by the front office, I didn't give Kerry Hyder much of a thought. He did have some success with the Detroit Lions early in his career then a scheme switch asked him to play a position that didn't fit his skill set. I was expecting Hyder to line up as an under tackle or three technique but that hasn't been the case at all. Hyder has primarily been lining up at end and has been disruptive in the way he has gone about his job. He's been a problem for both the starters and backups to block. Depending on how things shake out at defensive end, he could find himself in the mix with his veteran savvy and pass rushing techniques.

Role/Roster Chances: The defensive line is not easy to determine, especially for Week 1, considering that Randy Gregory is facing a suspension, DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off surgery and Tyrone Crawford's status is uncertain. So a player like Hyder, who has position flex and experience should be able to make things interesting, depending how he performs in training camp and preseason games. The Cowboys did draft Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks and like what they've seen from Daniel Wise, so there are some youngsters who could force their way in as well. But if Hyder can become the pass-rusher he was just a few years back, it'll be hard keeping him off the roster.

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