One of the six turnovers than sank the Cowboys last Sunday against the Giants came on a fumble by Dez Bryant when he couldn’t handle a punt in the first quarter.
It was the second straight week with a major blunder by Bryant in that role. Add his miniscule 5.5 yards per punt return and it isn’t hard to imagine the Cowboys making a change in the role in the coming weeks. If that change comes, though, it doesn’t sound like the Cowboys have decided to make it yet. While Jerry Jones stressed ball security as the most important thing in the kick return game, coach Jason Garrett said that he hasn’t made any decision on that front.
“I don’t want to make any definitive statements about how we’re going to use guys,” Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. “Certainly, the play he had [Sunday] in the ballgame was not a good play for our football team.”
Bryant only returned one more punt on Sunday with Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris handling the duties until the final Giants punt of the afternoon. The Cowboys could go a similar route in the future, using Bryant only if they feel the potential reward outweighs the risks.
Bryant had five catches for 110 yards and almost won the game with an acrobatic catch in the final seconds that was correctly ruled out of bounds. He also had the fumble and ran a poor route that set up the first of Tony Romo’s four interceptions. That kind of balance has been a hallmark of Bryant’s play this season with great plays mitigated by major errors and the end result isn’t working out for the Cowboys.