National Football League teams announced roster cuts for the second time this season on Tuesday. The Dallas Cowboys dropped five players from the active roster to meet the requirement. Among the five players released, the biggest story is at the kicking position.
The Cowboys released former kicker Greg Zuerlein at the end of the 2022 season and brought in two kickers familiar with the team to compete for the job. The Cowboys announced that Lirim Hajrullahu would be cut, leaving Brett Maher as the sole placekicker currently on the roster.
While Maher may be the only kicker in the building, there is plenty of time remaining in the offseason for the Cowboys to bring in another kicker, a move the team made as recently as 2021. The Cowboys initially brought Hajrullahu in during training camp after releasing kicker Hunter Niswander. Hajrullahu was with the team until August 24, 2021, to fill in while Zuerlein worked to get back on the field.
Hajrullahu was also pressed into action in Week 10 last season when Zuerlein was sidelined due to COVID-19. He made five point-after kicks in his only start before being released the following week.
Maher was the Cowboys’ placekicker in 2018 and 2019 when he successfully kicked four of the longest field goals in franchise history. Maher struggled with accuracy on intermediate kicks, leading to his release.
Both kickers have struggled in preseason and training camp, where they also competed against undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay, who was released in the first round of cuts.
In the most recent preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Hajrullahu went 1-1 on field goals and 1-1 on PATs. Maher hit 2-2 PATs but missed his only field goal attempt, which came from 61-yards.
Two players who have seen limited playing time were waived as part of the roster reduction. The players who were released are cornerback Quandre Mosely and wide receiver Jaquarri Roberson. Both players were undrafted rookie free agent signings by Dallas shortly after the 2022 draft.
In addition to the three cuts, the Cowboys also placed tight end Jeremy Sprinkle on season-ending IR. Sprinkle is dealing with an Achilles injury the team has not disclosed the nature of and has not been active in camp. Sprinkle spent most of last season on the team’s practice squad.
The team’s final roster move was designating linebacker Christian Sam to Injured/Waived.
Sam is one of the few players to make the jump from the USFL league that started in 2021 to an NFL roster. The designation results from an undisclosed injury that has sidelined the former New England Patriots fifth-round pick. Should no team claim Sam on waivers, he will revert to the Cowboys’ injured reserve list.
While the rules state that teams can carry only 80 players past August 23, the Cowboys are able to keep 81 players due to an exception for Isaac Alarcon as an international player.
The Cowboys will face the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington on Friday, with final roster cuts due the following Tuesday. NFL teams are permitted to carry only 53 players when the season begins.