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Akwasi Owusu-Ansah called up, could return kicks

11/12/2011

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys called up safety-turned-wide receiver Akwasi Owusu-Ansah from the practice squad on Saturday in anticipation of him returning kickoffs Sunday against Buffalo.

To make room for Owusu-Ansah, the Cowboys parted ways with offensive lineman Daniel Loper.

Loper was originally signed on Oct. 18 and was cut Nov. 5 in favor of punter Chris Jones. He was re-signed last week when David Buehler was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury.

That Jones remains means there is some question as to Mat McBriar's availability to play against the Bills. Jones averaged 43 yards per punt against Seattle last week in McBriar’s absence. McBriar is bothered by a nerve problem in his left leg, but he is wearing a contraption that helps lift his toes. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.

The team planned to use rookie Dwayne Harris to return kicks, but he suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice. Owusu-Ansah handled the returns with the first-team kick returners Friday. He averaged 21.7 yards as kick returner last season as a rookie.

The Cowboys moved Owusu-Ansah, a fourth-round pick last year, from safety to wide receiver earlier this season.

Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree could handle punt return duty against the Bills. Dez Bryant would remain an option, but that would not be the wisest decision with Miles Austin not playing because of a hamstring injury. Terence Newman is another punt return option.