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Jayron Kearse, from afterthought to difference maker with the Cowboys

Jayron Kearse is off to a hot start, but can he keep it up?

NFL: SEP 19 Cowboys at Chargers Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It would have been hard to predict the impact Jayron Kearse has made defensively with the Dallas Cowboys through the first two weeks of the 2021 season. The Cowboys and the fans certainly didn’t see it coming. And yet, here we are.

To say No. 27 has been a pleasant surprise thus far since joining the Cowboys would be an understatement. He’s been a difference maker, and this is coming from someone who was basically an afterthought free agent signing this year. Nobody expected much from him, so much so, many believed he was a long shot to make the final 53-man roster.

To date, Kearse has played a vital role for the Cowboys defensively as both a backup and fill-in starter. After racking up eight tackles in Week 1 playing 62% of the snaps against the Buccaneers, he stepped his game up even more in Week 2 as an injury replacement for Donovan Wilson playing 97% of the snaps against Los Angeles.

Against the Chargers, Kearse made plays all over the field. It didn’t matter if it was against the run, in coverage, or as a blitzer, he was everywhere. He even made an oh-so-close game-changing interception against Jared Cook that was ultimately negated by a highly questionable pass interference call.

After spending five years in the league - four with Minnesota, one with Detroit - with only 13 career starts under his belt, Kearse is no doubt playing the best football of his career. He’s played so well, in fact, it may be difficult for Donovan Wilson to earn his starting job back. But, that’s a discussion better left to another time.

As things stand right now Kearse is playing like a true difference maker and the Cowboys defense is better for it. It’s a unit that can use as much help as it can get, even from the most unlikely places. He’s off to a hot start and hopefully he can continue to play at such a high level. Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire his teammates to do the same.