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Friday, May 31, 2013
Dwayne Harris ready to fight for his job

By Calvin Watkins

A column by Todd Archer the other day examined Miles Austin's status with the Dallas Cowboys for 2013 and beyond.

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The issue was raised because of questions concerning Austin's health and production. He's still a good wide receiver and someone to depend on in 2013.

So where does that leave wide receiver Dwayne Harris?

As the 2012 season progressed, Harris' snap counts increased. In the final two games, Harris went from 18 snaps in Week 16 to 38 in Week 17. The increase was largely due to injuries at wideout in the regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins.

In reality, the Cowboys need to see Harris on the field more. With Kevin Ogletree now with the Tampa Bay Bucs, it gives Harris a chance to move up the depth chart. It's not going to be easy. The Cowboys selected wide receiver Terrance Williams in the third round of this year's draft, and he'll challenge Harris for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart.

Some believe Williams' selection was just the writing on the wall for Austin -- and that might be true down the line -- but Harris is the one who'll be challenged right now.

"Every year you got to fight for your job," Harris said. "They're always drafting a new guy on us. We don’t even know who they're going to draft. So when you get a new receiver, you just got to go out there and do your job. I guess that’s what it is."

When the season ended, Harris finished with 17 catches for 222 yards and one touchdown. His impact was felt on special teams, where he averaged 16.1 return yards on punts (with a TD) and 19.1 yards on 11 kickoffs.

But even his contributions on special teams isn't a given, considering the Cowboys have intriguing options with Williams, Dez Bryant and Lance Dunbar.

"I took a step forward with the production that I had," Harris said. "I'm just trying to build on that and continue that the next season and to camp. I'm a good return guy. I will do whatever I can to help the team out anyway that I can. I like returning, so hopefully they will keep me back there."