IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys' starting kick returner Lucky Whitehead is back for a second season and the fun loving "king of Snapchat" is trying to expand his role on the offense. As a receiver in his rookie season, Whitehead only had six receptions for 16 yards but took over the return game from Cole Beasley early on in the year.
"I've been working on becoming more of a complete receiver," Whitehead said. "I'm trying to learn the playbook more so that I can contribute on the offense more than just on special teams. I feel like my routes are getting better and I'm learning more."
Whitehead averaged 28.3 yards per return in 2015, and he set a franchise record for a wide receiver by rushing four times in a game. As an undrafted free agent, Whitehead has worked hard to make a name for himself with the Cowboys.
"I work every day after OTA practice on my return game and my punt returning," Whitehead said. "I expect to be doing the majority of the work returning and we're just working on different ways to return the ball."
Whitehead spent the offseason traveling to several cities including San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami, as well as his hometown of Bristow, Va. But as a second-year player, Whitehead is setting the bar higher for himself early on.
"I definitely had a fun offseason, but when it was about a month until OTAs I started working harder and sticking around the facilities more," Whitehead said. "The difference this year is just knowing my job and doing what's asked of me."
The hard work hasn't stopped Whitehead from being active on social media. He was even named Popeye's Employee of the Year after a brief stint as an employee – much of which was documented on his Snapchat account. The next step for Whitehead is to become a leader and maintaining his attitude while doing it.
"I'm still the fun-time guy, but I'm trying to help the rookies because I know where they're coming from," Whitehead said. "I also ask guys like Cole for help still and I follow our leaders and watch them to continue my growth."
The team is already shaping up to bounce back from a disappointing 4-12 season in 2015, and Whitehead sees the progress from last year.
"I feel an edge, a chip on our shoulder," Whitehead said. "Everyone has a pep in their step. It's a lot different from OTAs last year. Everyone's flying around and I think the expectations are higher. Everyone has a bad taste in their mouth from the 4-12 season."
Whitehead's goals for 2016 include increasing his role on the team and getting his first NFL touchdown for the Cowboys.