Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Cowboys make practice squad move
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys have cut punter Chris Jones from the practice squad and re-signed defensive lineman Robert Calloway, but that should not be viewed as a sign Mat McBriar will be ready for Sunday’s game vs. Seattle.
McBriar is dealing with a nerve issue in his left foot, which first flared up two days before the Cowboys played St. Louis. He punted without trouble against the Rams but could make it through only a half against Philadelphia. He averaged 38.7 yards on three punts before being replaced by kicker Dan Bailey.
McBriar wore a bulky brace that ran up his calf but he was limping noticeably. He has seen specialists this week, but it could be a case of waiting for the nerves to re-fire.
If McBriar is unable to punt, the Cowboys would likely re-sign Jones, who was with the team in training camp. He averaged 37 yards per punt in the preseason and struggled in the Blue-White scrimmage.
McBriar’s absence would also affect Bailey, because the Pro Bowl punter is also the holder.
While there are veterans punters available, Jones worked as Bailey’s holder for most of training camp. Tony Romo served as Bailey’s holder on a point-after attempt against the Eagles. Coach Jason Garrett said last week Jon Kitna would be an option, but Kitna has not served in that role in his career.
If Jones is needed but McBriar’s injury is not one that would end his season, then it could set up the unusual circumstance of the Cowboys having four kickers on the 53-man roster and just three tailbacks with Bailey, Jones, McBriar and David Buehler. The only tailbacks currently on the roster are DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner and Felix Jones.