OXNARD, Calif. -- Chris Jones admits to some confusion.
He punts with his left foot. He golfs righty. He writes with his left hand. He throws righty. He shoots a gun as a lefty. He shoots a bow and arrow as a righty.
“I always figured you’re kind of one-side dominant,” the Dallas Cowboys punter said. “I’ve got a little bit of both. But when it comes to shooting, it’s OK, I’m left-eye dominant. For a bow, I’m right-eye dominant. I don’t know ... it’s weird.”
It started when he was young and his parents would put his spoon on the right side of his cereal bowl and he would spin everything around.
“I think it’s everything kind of meticulous is a lefty and anything with power is righty,” Jones said.
But he kicks powerfully with his left leg.
“For that it doesn’t carry over,” Jones said. “I have no explanation for it.”
But he does kick well with his left leg. In his first full season as the Cowboys’ punter -- and first with special teams’ coach Rich Bisaccia -- he averaged 45 yards per punt. He had a 39.1-yard net average. Opponents averaged just 9.2 yards per punt return against the Cowboys, which says something about the coverage but also Jones' leg. He is not as prolific as his predecessor, Mat McBriar, in pinning offenses inside the 20, but he is improving. Of his 77 punts, 30 remained inside the 20.
“I definitely have a better feel for what Rich wants,” Jones said. “Last year was a lot of getting out of the old scheme and getting into this where I’m going from being at 13 yards to 15 and the kicking angles are a little less drastic. I have a feel for what’s going to work better with the scheme.”
Jones came to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2011, rejoined the team for two games when McBriar was hurt and spent the rest of the year on the practice squad. His 2012 season was cut short by a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament after four games.
“Realistically when I think about it I’ve only got one full season and then maybe seven or eight games, so as far as being ‘established,’ not necessarily,” Jones said. “I’ve been here four years, but at the same time the playing time plays into that.”