MIAMI – It was a scary scene on the Cowboys' sideline for a few minutes Saturday night early in the second quarter against the Dolphins.
Special teams ace Dwayne Harris, one of the team's most versatile and valuable players, took an awkward hit on a punt return that had him motionless for a few seconds as players and then trainers and doctors quickly rushed to his aide. In less than a minute, the medical cart was onto the field and headed towards the sideline.
The Cowboys meet the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.
But fortunately for Harris and the Cowboys, it was just a brief scare as the return specialist was able to eventually get up, limp towards the bench on his own power. Although both his hip and ankle were injured on the play, Harris said it wasn't as serious as he initially thought.
"If that's a regular season game, I'm going back in," Harris said. "It's painful but I think I would come back. They just wanted to hold me out because it was the preseason."
Before the injury, Harris had two kick returns Saturday night for 79 yards, including a 50-yard runback in the first quarter
While Harris could be held for this Thursday's preseason finale with the Broncos, he said he won't need the two weeks to recover before the Sept. 7 opener.
"Oh, I'll be ready way before Frisco," Harris said, referring to the Week 1 game with San Francisco.
That's certainly good news for the Cowboys, who were on the NFL's top special teams units last year. [embedded_ad] Harris is a rare player that returns kicks and also covers them on both kickoff and occasionally as the gunners on the punt team.
Last season, Harris ranked second in the NFL with a 30.6 yard average on kick returns and was third in the league as a punt returner at 12.8 yards a return.
After last week's preseason game against the Ravens in which the Cowboys yielded a kickoff return for a touchdown, Harris vowed the special teams would be better.
"Absolutely, we know we've been one of the best in the NFL," Harris said following Saturday's game. "It's only a matter of time before we turned it around. I think we're going to be fine on (special) teams."
And Harris isn't just a special teams player. The fourth-year vet is the fourth receiver on the depth chart behind Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. However, there were lineups Saturday night where Harris was in the game on third-down plays.
Last year Harris caught just nine passes for 80 yards but had two touchdowns, including the game-winner against the Vikings.