Cowboys kicker Lirim Hajrullahu has three degrees…and a backup plan

OXNARD, California – Cowboys kicker Lirim Hajrullahu might be the smartest man on the team. He has the qualifications to prove it: an MBA, a master’s degree in sports management and a bachelor’s degree as well. He even wrote a book.

“It was one of my masters,” Hajrullahu said. “I actually wrote the first kicking book. So if a high school coach picked up the book, they could look at it and learn, technically, what the kicker should be doing. These are the exercises they should do. “

But Lirim wanted to expand his knowledge beyond kick mechanics. He also wanted to include the mental aspect of the game and control what he was thinking, because the difference in kickers in the NFL can be as small as one yard.

“I go out here at night and do my field visualization,” Hajrullahu explained. “Before training, I try to do it in my room.”

Born in war-torn Kosovo, Hajrullahu’s family fled to Canada when he was nine. There he played in the Canadian Football League before landing NFL jobs with the Cowboys, Panthers and Commanders before returning again with the Cowboys. This year’s training camp did not go as planned. Hajrullahu and former Texas Tech Red Raider Jonathan Garibay both struggled in camp, so head coach Mike McCarthy put them both in his “mojo moment” in practice to help ramp up the pressure. and rehearsals as well.

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“As for the ‘mojo moment,’ I just have a hint about the situation,” Hajrullahu said. “I want to be one of the top guys in situational jobs, and we have a lot of opportunities.”

Hajrullahu’s goal is to make the roster of 53 players. If he misses the cut, his father, who is a teacher, made sure he had plenty of options to fall back on through his upbringing.


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