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Mailbag: Why Don’t The Cowboys Try To Block More Punts?
How come our special teams unit never tries to block a punt? We see most every team in the NFL do this, but the Cowboys NEVER attempt it. Why?
Nick: This was a better question for last week. I would’ve been on board with you, but didn’t they just miss a block with an all-out rush against the Eagles? For the most part, you are correct in your assessment that this team generally tries to set up a return. Don’t forget, this team is one of the more penalized teams in the league and hasn’t exactly been dubbed a “smart team.” Rushing the punt often spells disaster with a roughing or running into the kicker penalty or being offside. I think when you look at the flip side, I don’t think teams really go for the block against the Cowboys, either. You might have one guy who goes for it if he can, but it’s rare to see all-out rushes. The risk/reward just doesn’t seem as high.
Rowan: With all the mistakes and penalties this team has endured, is sending an all-out attack on the punter worth the risk? I’d say no, especially now. While a punt block can be a difference maker in a game, so too can a roughing the punter penalty. Once this team consistently displays it won’t make silly, costly errors, then maybe it should be worked in. The Cowboys did well setting up a return last week for Dwayne Harris to reach the end zone. It resulted more positively than any block attempt could have.
Do you think that we could start seeing more plays involving Cole Beasley? He has caught a couple passes in big time situations lately.
Nick: I think we have started to see it. He was in there for the Falcons game and then the Eagles, too. It looks like he’s taking some of the reps from Ogletree, but not all of them. It seems like they’re just easing him into the mix more and more. So far, he’s handled what they’ve given him.
Rowan: Beasley’s out pattern might be the most effective route for any Cowboys receiver. In his few opportunities, that route always seems to be open and trip up the opposing quarterback. I anticipate the Cowboys working this in more and more in three and four receiver sets, as well as the spread. Beasley does his damage in the slot, so he won’t be out there in two receiver sets.