IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have officially signed punter Brian Moorman to the 53-man roster. Moorman will not only be the punter for Monday's game against the Bears, but also the holder for field goals and extra points.
He temporarily replaces second-year punter Chris Jones, who has a sprained knee the Cowboys are hoping will need only a couple of weeks to heal.
For Jones and the Cowboys, the bye week that follows Monday's game will come at the right time. Because despite Moorman's 10 years of experience, which includes two Pro Bowls and All-Pro selections, the Cowboys are certainly excited about Jones' play through three games and the potential he could be the club's long-term answer at punter.
To make room for Moorman, the Cowboys waived safety Mana Silva, who was not only one of the few healthy backups at the position, but a regular on special teams. Silva's role will likely be replaced by veteran Eric Frampton, who signed this week and should be ready to play in Monday's game as well.
Silva, who joined the team late last year, has been active every game this year, with two tackles on defense and one on special teams. He does have practice-squad eligibility, so it's likely the Cowboys could try and keep him around if he clears waivers.
Jones suffered the injury last week against the Bucs when he nearly had his second punt in two weeks blocked. He was hit by a charging defender who was flagged for roughing the punter. But it's still the second time he's been hit in two games, following the blocked punt in Seattle that led to a touchdown.
Jones ranks in the middle of the league leaders in punting at 46.4 yards per punt and 40.7 yards in net average. He also works with place-kicker Dan Bailey in practice on the field goals, a chore Moorman has done for most of his career as well.
Moorman is one of the more athletic punters in the NFL and has run several fakes on both field goals and punts. His most famous play is likely the fake punt he ran in the Pro Bowl when he was blasted by the late Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
Moorman's career average is 43.9 yards and he was averaging 45.5 yards when he was released this year by the Bills, who opted to go with the younger Shawn Powell, who competed against the veteran in training camp.