you want to call it - you need some of that, too. And if nothing else, there's a fearless element that has to be in place as well. You know you're about to get killed by a guy running 50 yards down the field and you can't really look at him because you have to catch the ball. The guys that excel as punt returners have obviously overcome that aspect of it.
So maybe Ogletree works out. Maybe he doesn't. The Felix Jones experiment really didn't work, but maybe that's something the Cowboys give another try next year. Remember, he isn't coming off an injury, or two, like he was last off-season.
I'm all for trying some of your players back there. You never know if something sticks. But I'd keep my eyes open for any possibility that comes up.
It looks like Cleveland will get this Joshua Cribbs situation locked up at some point. Mike Holmgren is considered a football-guy who knows his stuff. There's probably no way the Browns let go of their best overall player. Of course, Cribbs is looking to get paid, but if that mess doesn't get resolved around the draft, I think teams will get interested and the Cowboys should be one of them.
Here's a guy who is a fantastic return specialist on both punts and kickoffs. Check, you need that for sure. He does both . . . even better.
Not only that, but Cribbs has turned into an offensive weapon, too, especially from the Wildcat or Razorback or whatever else you want to call it. Cribbs would have more value than "just a return guy."
And the same goes for someone like Hester, who is clearly not a No. 1 receiver. But in Chicago, he was the best they had so he was their No. 1. But that's a shame, because it's not his strength right now. And by doing so, by putting all of their efforts into developing Hester into a wide receiver, the Bears have removed him from his return duties.
What??? The best return man the NFL has seen since Deion Sanders is not returning kicks? Craziness.
I'm not saying the Bears are looking to get rid of their best player. And I haven't heard this anywhere, so just let me step out on the ledge by myself here.
But the Bears don't have a first-round pick, or even a second. Come draft day, they'll be sitting there with no chances to upgrade their already-struggling football team. Might be something to look at.
And from the Cowboys' perspective - here's a team that has plenty of talent right now. At 11-5, a division championship and sending nine players to the Pro Bowl, albeit a few alternates or not, the Cowboys don't have a lot of room for rookies.
Throw in the fact that three players from the 2009 class are coming off injuries and never took a snap last year, and the Cowboys will get a lot of new faces trying to compete for jobs. If there is ever a time to trade a high draft pick, or even attempt to trade up to get a better player, this might be the year.
Now, trading for an experience return guy may not be the best option. Let's face it, Jerry Jones doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trading away first-round picks. But if you indeed stick with your selection, it would make sense to keep the return game in mind.
If a receiver is sitting there late in the first round, and he's got return skills to boot, why not. Same goes with a safety or cornerback.
So you don't necessarily have to go out and draft a player specifically to return kicks. But it could be a great tiebreaker if you've got a War Room debate.
The point is, the Cowboys don't need a lot of help to improve next year. Sure, every position could use some kind of upgrade. But you won't find a lot of spots that can get better immediately.
That's why shoring up the return game makes sense now, more than ever.