Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Slow start doesn't faze Chris Jones
By Todd Archer
OXNARD, Calif. -- Chris Jones knows more people are watching him this year as he gets the chance to take over for Mat McBriar as the Cowboys punter.
“I wouldn’t say I feel the pressure,” Jones said, “but then again I guess it’s a mental thing.”
After a shaky debut in Monday’s practice, Jones could especially feel those eyes. Coach Jason Garrett said Jones hit “some squirrely ones,” and Jones knows he needs to be better.
Jones, who averaged 42.6 yards per punt in two games as McBriar’s replacement in 2011, kicked a few times before the team flew out for California, but he had not been in front of a live rush since the June minicamp.
“(Monday) was a little rough, but having the rush in front of you, I was fast,” Jones said. “I was kind of rushing a little bit. But I still feel confident back there and I think today will be a lot better.”
The Cowboys elected not to re-sign McBriar after a workout last week, which gives Jones a leg up to win the job this summer. He was with the team in training camp in San Antonio last summer but mostly as an extra leg to make sure McBriar did not work too much.
“He certainly has the capability to kick the ball in this league,” Garrett said. “You see a live leg and the ball jumps off his foot, but at the same time it’s just consistency week in and week out.”