DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Bailey Ready, But Not Expecting To Punt Following ST Injuries
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys might not have either of their two punters available this weekend.
If Chris Jones and Brian Moorman are unable to punt, kicker Dan Bailey is an option. Bailey punted twice in the first matchup with Philadelphia last season, averaging 39.5 yards per punt. He said he’ll perform punting duties if necessary, but he doesn’t expect to be the punter this weekend.
“We’ve talked about it and we’ve gone over it, but I don’t see it happening,” Bailey said.
Bailey, who punted for an injured Mat McBriar in the second half against the Eagles last year, said he hasn’t punted at practice yet this week.
Head coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys have already reached out to other punters, with the possibility of working them out by the end of the week, but Bailey could be an emergency candidate.
“He’s a guy that’s been able to do that for us in the past,” Garrett said. “He’s obviously not a punter. He’s a kickoff and field goal guy. But he has some versatility. He’s a very good athlete and he’s a very poised guy, so if we need him to do that in a given situation, although not ideal, he’s capable of doing that.”
Jones, who is still recovering from a knee injury, and Moorman, who injured his groin in practice this week, both missed Thursday’s practice. Garrett said both punters will be monitored throughout the week to see if either will be healthy enough to play against the Ravens.
He said he’s not sure which of his two punters are further along in their recovery process. He doesn’t want to rush Jones back too quickly from a knee sprain, and he won’t play him if he’s not healthy.
“Chris has done a good job coming back and working through his injury,” Garrett said. “We’ll just have to see how they feel today after the work they got yesterday, and in Brian’s case, after his injury yesterday.”
The loss of a punter also means the loss of a holder on field goals. Garrett said quarterback Tony Romo could be the best option at holder if both punters are inactive and the Cowboys don’t sign anyone else.
“We have to have contingencies at holder, at backup punter and we certainly scour the waiver wire as well for available punters, based on what their health is going to be in the next couple of days,” Garrett said.