A look at the punt return options

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
10:09
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys’ decision to cut wide receiver Dwayne Harris has opened up a punt return job. Harris averaged 6.6 yards per return with a long of 14. Bryan McCann averaged 13 yards on two returns before his release. Dez Bryant was hurt on his lone return of 12 yards vs. the New York Jets.

The Cowboys are 25th in the league in punt return average at 7 yards. Who knew Patrick Crayton would be missed so much as a punt returner?

But who do the Cowboys look to handle the job with Harris gone?

Bryant has to be at the top of list but that brings risk of losing him to injury. Is it worth it? It might be because the Cowboys can’t get the ball into Bryant’s hands enough apparently in the second halves of games on offense. He has shown dynamic ability as a returner.

Terence Newman is averaging 7.5 yards per punt in his career and has a 56-yard return for a score to his credit. The injury possibility is another caution flag, but with Orlando Scandrick healthy again the Cowboys would have some cover.

Kevin Ogletree has one return in his career and is the up-man in the return game. He is the No. 4 wide receiver and he has to be a special teams’ guy in order to justify the spot. Does he have enough wiggle to be good at it?

If all else fails go with defensive end Sean Lissemore. He has a 38-yard kick return to his credit. Maybe he can catch some punts, too.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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