Cowboys need Harris to impact game as punt returner

LONDON -- Dwayne Harris has been among the league’s best returners the past two seasons. This year, he hasn’t.

Harris is averaging just 8.9 yards per return, a significant drop from last season’s 12.8 average and a humongous dip from his 16.1 average in 2012.

More important, he hasn’t made nearly as many big plays as a punt returner.

Harris had his best game of the season against Washington. The Cowboys hope it's a harbinger.

Against Arizona, Harris had returns of 27 and 16 yards that put the Cowboys into good scoring position each time. In the previous three games, Harris had returned six punts for a total of 24 yards.

The 27-yard return was his first of more than 20 since a 38-yard return against New Orleans. Harris had four returns of 20 yards or more last season, and a league-leading seven in 2012.

“We did everything better. We blocked better, we were more disciplined and Dwayne did a better job of getting north and south,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Sometimes, the return is little hit-and-miss because the timing is so critical.

“Eight or nine guys might be doing their job and for one reason or another, one guy doesn’t get his block and things don't work out. We have a lot of confidence in Dwayne. He’s done a good job for us, and it was good to see him make some plays.”