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"Health Factors Into" McBriar's FA Status

IRVING, Texas – Veteran punter Mat McBriar remains a free agent, and it's uncertain whether the Cowboys will re-sign him after an injury-plagued 2011 season.

McBriar had successful surgery in early February to remove a cyst below his left knee – the apparent cause of the nerve condition in his plant foot that dramatically affected his punting in 2011 and ultimately landed him on injured reserve before the Cowboys' season finale against the Giants.

"It's a decision where health factors into it," head coach Jason Garrett said. "McBriar has been a very good punter for us, been one of the best punters in the league. He did a really good job last year dealing with an injury, a little bit of a unique injury. He handled it really well and really fought his way through it for most of the year.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player and as a person, even more so after last year. We'll have to see how he recovers. It seems like the steps that he's taken have been positive ones getting his health back to where it needs to be. We have to continue to evaluate that."

The Cowboys like the potential of Chris Jones, who had a 42.6-yard net average on 10 punts in McBriar's place next year. Signing McBriar would create a nice competition in training camp if he makes a full recovery, as expected. But the money would have to be right for both sides.

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