Kerry Hyder is the personification of the Cowboys free agency philosophy.
Hyder’s signing went under the radar for a multitude of reasons, mainly that most casual fans probably hadn’t heard his name prior to the roster move. He came on a one year, low risk deal which Stephen Jones would likely call “team friendly,” and he fits an immediate need across the team’s defensive line.
His signing was also quickly overshadowed as bigger names came in to join the Cowboys. Randall Cobb and Robert Quinn were acquired by Dallas before the dust could really settle on the Hyder signing, and those names brought more national excitement for certain.
With all that being said, you’d be wrong to sleep on Kerry Hyder heading into 2019. The four year NFL veteran made his mark with the Detroit Lions in 2016, with a career best 8 sack season. Since then Hyder has struggled with injuries and scheme-shifting in Detroit, but is getting an excellent opportunity to re-establish himself with the Cowboys.
Hyder spoke to Dallascowboys.com’s David Helman, and his quotes made it clear that he is aware of how important this moment is for him.
“I love how the defense plays and how they attack. Anywhere they put me across the line, I felt like I could help and I could play.” – Kerry Hyder
One of the biggest questions facing Kerry Hyder and his new fit in Dallas centers around which position he will play. Hyder can play both at three-technique and left defensive end, though the LDE spot is likely his more natural place. So far in OTA’s, mostly due to the absence of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, Hyder has been getting a lot of first team reps at end.
He could potentially kick inside, however, especially on pass rushing downs to give the Cowboys a dynamic pass rushing package. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli spoke to exactly this last week with David Helman.
“Maybe you adjust him sometime, once in a while – in a one-on-one pass rush situation, stick him over a guard and start to get a feel for it.” – Rod Marinelli
The Cowboys defensive line went from a need to a very deep unit over the course of the offseason. Now, it’s likely they will have to part ways with some talented players who will find new teams quickly after final cuts.
Kerry Hyder is a name to watch out for, however, as he has a good chance to provide real value on his short-term contract.