Mailbag: Will Anyone Challenge Harris On Punt Returns?


Do you see anyone challenging Dwayne Harris for punt return duty?

Rowan: I'd be surprised if anyone else earns the job. There's always the possibility the Cowboys move back Dez Bryant at some point during the season, but he's become too useful as a receiver to risk playing at that spot and Harris replaced him to start with. Cole Beasley will get a couple shots, as will B.W. Webb. Most of Lance Dunbar's work will come as a kick returner, and I don't expect to see him as a punt returner. I wouldn't anticipate anyone beating out Harris.

David: I think the job is Harris' to lose, but there's two rookies I imagine will get a shot. The first would be Terrance Williams, who showed much better hands during OTAs and minicamp than he did during a shaky rookie camp in May. B.W. Webb was also an excellent punt returner during his time at William & Mary, and he's been one of the designated return men during special teams drills this spring. Harris should be considered the favorite, but all of those guys will be out to prove they can contribute in more ways than one.

Because of the salary cap and looking like no long-term deal, what are the chances that Jerry Jones trades Spencer before or during training camp?

Rowan: I can't see that happening. Both sides are content with the franchise tag, and the Cowboys wouldn't have offered it if they didn't want him on their team this season. This way, the Cowboys get a player coming off a Pro Bowl season and they don't have to worry if Tyrone Crawford isn't ready to handle a full workload. They can see what they have on both fronts. If Spencer doesn't work out as a 4-3 defensive end, then no harm done looking toward the future. If he does, as they expect, they could have two of the more formidable defensive ends in the conference.

David:I'm not sure it's a smart idea, given what the Cowboys' depth chart looks like. They basically don't have a single proven outside pass rusher behind Spencer and DeMarcus Ware, and a pass rush is something they'll need to help the secondary as it jells. I feel a lot better about a Ware/Spencer combo than Ware and Tyrone Crawford or Kyle Wilber. On top of that, I doubt the Cowboys could [embedded_ad] realistically expect to get too much for Spencer. He's under contract for one season, and he's going to want a big payday when it's over. I doubt too many teams would be willing to part with a first or second round pick for that return. I think the Cowboys would be better off with two Pro Bowl pass rushers in 2013, and they can worry about replacing Spencer when they have to.

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