Cowboys lose hidden value in Dwayne Harris

IRVING, Texas -- When a team loses a wide receiver with just 33 catches for 418 yards and three touchdowns over four years, it is met with a collective shrug.

It's a little different for the Dallas Cowboys with Dwayne Harris, who will sign a five-year deal worth a reported $17.5 million with the New York Giants.

It's not that the Cowboys would have paid Harris that much money. Harris is getting $7.1 million guaranteed. That's a lot of coin for a No. 4 receiver/special teamer.

But Harris offered the Cowboys a dangerous returner. His numbers were down in 2014 because the blocking was not as good, but he was a threat. A Devin Hester threat? Not really, but he did average 12.8 yards per punt return and 30.6 yards per kick return in 2013.

He flipped field position on a number of occasions after a Cowboys' opponent had scored to give the Cowboys momentum. He was the Cowboys' best coverage guy too, leading the team in special teams tackles with 18 in 2014.

The Cowboys don't have a natural replacement at any of those spots on the current roster.

Lance Dunbar could return kickoffs and with his $1.542 million price tag, he will have to do more than just be the third-down back. Cole Beasley could handle the punt return duties, which could help the team find more value in his recent four-year, $13.6 million deal that included $7 million guaranteed.

But neither has shown they can be dynamic in the return game. Harris has shown he can be dynamic and now the Cowboys will see him twice a year.