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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Five-star: Ball, field control will pin Peterson

By Bryan Broaddus

Five-star question: Will Patrick Peterson, averaging 19.2 per punt return the past four games with three touchdowns, hit his average or return a punt for a touchdown Sunday against the Cowboys?

Watching Patrick Peterson return punts reminds me of how Desmond Howard was able to do that during our Super Bowl run with the Green Bay Packers in 1996.

Peterson is playing with a great deal of confidence. As a blocker on that return unit, you don’t want to be the guy that doesn’t secure his block, thus resulting in a missed opportunity to score points.

Watching practice Wednesday, I noticed on scout team work that Dez Bryant was able to get one to the wall that had a chance for a huge return. For special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, he was lucky that it was just practice and he would be able to coach off that in the film session Thursday morning and correct any problems.

With all that being said, a healthy Mat McBriar would make me feel better about directional punting and being more consistent at it. I feel that the Cowboys will try this anyway and see if they can control where and how Peterson fields the ball.

The problem with great return men such as Howard, Brian Mitchell and Devin Hester is that they make you pay for mistakes. The best way to control Peterson is through offensive possessions, which the Cowboys have a chance to do against the Cardinals.

By holding the ball and a plan to pin Peterson on one side of the field, if necessary, the Cowboys will not allow him to gain his average or score a touchdown.