IRVING, Texas – The only reason not to use Dez Bryant as a punt return is the risk of injury.
So why would the Cowboys even consider using Terence Newman in that role?
“Just that he’s had some experience doing that in the past and we think that’s an important thing,” coach Jason Garrett said.
Newman’s experience as a punt returner at the pro level isn’t impressive. He has averaged a pedestrian 7.5 yards in his career, scoring on only one of 38 punt returns.
Bryant, on the other hand, ranks up there with Chicago’s Devin Hester and Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs as the most dynamic punt returners in the NFL. He has averaged 14.2 yards, scoring on two of 16 punt returns.
Bryant and Newman both have problems staying healthy. They’re both valuable starters at positions that lack quality depth on the Cowboys’ roster.
But Bryant is a big enough threat on punt returns to justify the risk. That is not the case for Newman.