Thursday, November 3, 2011
Punt return game needs work
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys are still working on their return game, eight weeks into the season.
Kevin Ogletree, Dez Bryant and Terence Newman were fielding punts during the open media portion of practice Thursday.
The Cowboys averaged just 8.2 yards per punt return, which ranks 24th in the NFL.
Dwayne Harris (6.6 average), Bryan McCann (6.5), Ogletree (17.5) and Bryant (9.5) have returned punts this season. Harris and McCann were released, but Harris was re-claimed by the Cowboys and sits on the practice squad.
Ogletree returned punts for the first time in his NFL career last week at Philadelphia and Bryant did it in the season opener until injuring a thigh doing it, and has been a part-time participant since.
The Cowboys have averaged double-digits in punt return yards the last two seasons.
"We feel like we have some good options back there," Garrett said. "Dez was our punt returner in the Jet game until he got banged up and was dealing with that injury for three or four weeks. Dwayne Harris got an opportunity and did a nice job of handling the football and now he's on the practice roster. We gave Dez an opportunity a couple of weeks ago and then we didn't really have any punt opportunities until relatively late in the game. I felt like it was important opportunity to give Kevin Ogletree a chance. He was working out in practice. So we thought it was a good idea to give him some game experience and just having a number of guys available."