Kickoff rule could cost Jesse Holley a job

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kickers and return men aren’t the only players whose job security could be directly impacted by the new kickoff rule.

Kicking off from the 35-yard-line could also cost guys like Jesse Holley and Danny McCray jobs.

Those are the Cowboys’ top two special teams coverage players. The ability to cover punts and kicks -- and block for return men -- is the reason McCray made the roster as an undrafted rookie and reality show winner Holley was promoted from the practice squad last season.

Holley isn’t going to crack the rotation at receiver. McCray won’t play much, if at all, at safety. Their value is solely as special teamers, much like Bill Bates and Kenny Gant during Jason Garrett’s playing days.

The Cowboys have to decide whether those types of players are more worthy of a roster spot than a lesser special teams player with more potential at their position. It could especially affect Holley, a Joe DeCamillis favorite who is competing with younger receivers for a roster spot.

“Now you’re kicking through the uprights every time and there are touchbacks, what is the value of the cover guys?” Garrett said. “How many cover guys do we really need? Do you really want a true special teams player, a guy who is a special teams captain, a Bill Bates-type guy? Is that worthy of a roster spot?

“Well, kickoff is just one aspect of the kicking game so there are other opportunities for that guy to make an impact on the team. We’re still in the process of discussing that and seeing if we have the guys who fit those roles and how we want to play it out strategically.”