Dez Bryant to handle punt returns

IRVING, Texas -- Fully healthy, Dez Bryant will be the Cowboys’ punt returner.

Bryant suffered a quadriceps injury in the season opener at the New York Jets on a punt return but with the decision to release wide receiver Dwayne Harris last week, Bryant got the nod vs. St. Louis. Bryant, Kevin Ogletree and Terence Newman worked at punt returners during last week’s practice.

“We still want to have options back there as we go forward,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Dez is actually the most reliable guy catching the ball, the most experienced guy catching punts besides being a guy who’s probably our most dangerous playmaker back there. So the combination of those things and his health led us to give him the opportunities.”

Bryant returned only one punt for 7 yards and had two fair catches. Garrett said the decision to fair catch was more of a result of the rush calls the special teams’ unit had than the team wanting Bryant to be careful.

“When he has the opportunity based on the situation and what we have on, we’ll certainly take advantage of it if he gets the right kick,” Garrett said.