Cowboys must upgrade return game

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
10:02
AM ET
Yes, as someone who scours the Internet for content ideas on four teams during these slow offseason days, I will miss ESPNDallas.com's position series. But it concludes today with Calvin Watkins' look at special teams.

Clearly, the Cowboys found their kicker last year in rookie Dan Bailey, and they'll surely part ways with David Buehler as a result. They may have a decision to make on punter and unrestricted free agent Mat McBriar, but the injuries that plagued McBriar in 2011 could help keep his cost down, and assuming he's fully healed they have reason to believe he can return to his Pro Bowl-caliber form.

But the Cowboys do have questions in the return game, as Calvin points out. It seems clear they don't want to risk Dez Bryant on returns, in spite of the fact that he's their most dynamic option, and Calvin sees Dwayne Harris serving as kick returner and punt returner next year unless they find someone better. This is one potential ancillary reason for them to look at a guy like Janoris Jenkins in the first round this year. Even if they've already signed a cornerback in free agency by then, Jenkins would help deepen them at the position and also be an immediate asset in the return game, where he excelled in college.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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