In a preseason blog, HERE I analyzed the Cowboys options at punt returner and came to the conclusion that Dwayne Harris was their best option. The Cowboys, much to my chagrin, kept trying to put Dez back there and it took a fumbled punt by Dez in the Giants game to finally get them to do what I knew they should have been doing which is give Harris an opportunity.
He had a nice 37 yard return against the Falcons last week which was only a teaser for what he would do Sunday in Philadelphia.
The Cowboys needed a spark to get past the miserable Eagles and it came in the form of a lightning punt return from 2nd year player Dwayne Harris. The offense, as usual this season, struggled for the Cowboys falling behind in the 2nd half to an Eagles team that had to play their rookie QB.
Dez Bryant made a spectacular diving catch to tie the game at 17. Then Harris took a punt down the left sideline 78 yards for a TD that put the Cowboys ahead for good. The entire Cowboys team played with more confidence after that punt return. Carr intercepted a pass and took it for a TD soon after that TD and you could see the life come out of the Eagles coaches, players and fans.
After Harris took the punt for a score, no one was smiling more than Garrett. But the question is why did it take until the 8th game of the year to start putting Harris back on punts? Why did it take a fumble by Dez to make a change? The Cowboys productivity on punt returns was non existent in 2011 and this year too up until Harris stepped in. Who knows what a difference Harris may have made of he were allowed to return punts earlier in the season.
How could I see that in preseason but the Cowboys could not? It’s kind of scary. Harris was an excellent punt returner at East Carolina and was better qualified to do it than any player on the roster.
Another Tip For Garrett:
Dwayne Harris should be your kickoff returner too. Harris is on the kickoff return team however they have been putting Dunbar deep and so far it isn’t working. In fact Dunbar fumbled a kickoff in the 2nd half which luckily Dallas recovered. That could have been a huge momentum swing. Get a clue Garrett, put Harris deep. Harris returned 3 kickoffs for TDs in college.
When a team is in a slump like the Cowboys were, sometimes it just takes a big play to change the mindset of the entire team. I think Harris provided that spark for Dallas in Philly. Harris is a play maker and you get the ball in the hands of play makers particularly when you are having trouble scoring anyway. Wake up Cowboys coaches and get my man Harris the ball.