When Dwayne Harris returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in Philadelphia last Sunday, he broke a 17-17 tie and sent the Cowboys on their way to a crucial victory for their playoff chances.
It also earned him honors as the NFC player of the week, the league announced on Wednesday. Harris, who had 97 return yards overall and a special teams tackle, is the first Cowboys returner to take home the award since Bryan McCann in 2010.
Harris’ touchdown touched off a memorable quarter for the Cowboys. They became the first team in almost 40 years to score touchdowns on a punt return, interception return and fumble return in the same quarter of a game. Harris’ score was also the middle of three Cowboys touchdowns in 2:35, the fastest the Cowboys have ever scored three touchdowns in the history of the franchise.
Harris has averaged 18.7 yards on his eight punt returns this season. The team has used Dez Bryant in the role at times this season, occasionally in negative effect to the team, but Harris’ big day should allow the team to leave Bryant on offense without suffering in the return game.