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Former SMU Mustang Cole Beasley filled for Dwayne Harris returning kicks for the Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Position Reviews

By Matthew Postins

PostinsPostcards.com

Cowboys 2013 Position Review: Return Game

RattleandHumSports.com is breaking down every position group for the 2013 Dallas Cowboys. Today it’s the return game.

Top returner: Dwayne Harris. Other returners: Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Lance Dunbar.

Other notable players: None.

In 2013: Dwayne Harris had a great season in his first full season as the Cowboys’ punt and kickoff returner. He averaged 12.8 yards per punt and 30.6 yards per kickoff return, that latter of which was good for No. 2 in the NFL. His best game came at home against Washington, when Harris returned a punt 86 yards for a score and returned a kickoff 90 yards in the second half to set up a Tony Romo touchdown pass. Harris finished with 222 return yards. He was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice. Unfortunately, Harris had to battle injuries all season and he underwent shoulder surgery at the end of the season. Even with the injuries, he played 13 games. Cole Beasley handled punts when Harris was injured and he was serviceable, averaging 6.8 yards per return, a little more than half of Harris’ season average. Micheal Spurlock, a free agent signing, had one punt return for 62 yards. Terrance Williams had 10 kickoff returns and managed 23.7 yards per return.

Looking ahead: Harris, still under contract for another year, is the lead-pipe lock to be the opening-day kickoff and punt returner. He’s a value-add because he can help at receiver and had two receiving touchdowns in 2013. The key is keeping him healthy, because as he proved in 2013 he can change games with his ability in the return game, but the Cowboys suffer a bit when he’s gone.

 

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