ARLINGTON, Texas – Jerry Jones made his concerns about Dez Bryant being used as a returner clear after the season opener.
Bryant suffered a deep thigh bruise on a punt return in that game, the second time he had suffered a significant injury on special teams. Jones hinted strongly that he didn’t want to see Bryant on special teams again, revising his opinion a couple of days later to wanting to be “judicious” about using Bryant as a return man.
Well, a healthy Bryant is back to being the Cowboys’ primary punt returner. And that makes Jones nervous.
“We’ve got to get others ready to return those kicks,” Jones said during a Tuesday appearance on KRLD-FM.
Jones actually used a Bryant reception against the Rams as an example of why he’s concerned about letting the Cowboys’ best punt returner return punts. Bryant kept fighting for extra inches after the catch, taking hits from four St. Louis players before finally going down.
“Now, the game is one that you risk injury on every play, but because he just refuses to go down – which is a great thing about him – then you’ve got to watch using that in situations like kick returns,” Jones said. “We’ll monitor that as the year goes. We’ll play that by ear as to when he’ll actually return the ball. We’ve got to watch him.
“I’m not going to say he’s injury prone, but I will say he’s more subject to getting hit and hurt with the way he stands up and fights it than probably any player we’ve got.”