(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. Today, we continue the series with punter Bryan Anger.)
How He Got Here: The Cowboys and Anger, a nine-year NFL veteran, reached a one-year deal in April. The Cowboys have an opening at punter after releasing long-time starter Chris Jones in March to create salary cap space. Jones, the club's punter since 2013, missed part of last season with a core muscle injury. He had one year left on his deal at a $2 million base salary. Anger has punted for three teams (Jaguars, Bucs and most recently the Texans) since entering the league in 2012. He has a career 46.2-yard average (41.2 net) with 232 punts inside the 20, an average of 1.6 per game.
What's Next: Some healthy training camp competition. Hunter Niswander took over for Jones in eight of the final nine games last season and averaged 47.2 yards, tying for ninth-best in the league. The 26-year-old Niswander showed promise in his NFL debut, and he'll likely handle some kickoffs and place kicks in preseason to relieve kicker Greg Zuerlein, according to special teams coordinator John Fassel. But Anger obviously has a significant edge in punting experience as training camp approaches.
Bet You Didn't Know: Highly regarded out of Cal in 2012, Anger was drafted by Jacksonville in the third round at No. 70 overall, the earliest a punter had been selected by a team since 1995.
Quotable: "I've known Bryan for about 10 years. Obviously never coached him, but just evaluating him over these years, I think he's one of the top punters in the league. And he's been kind of caught up in some staff change in Jacksonville, and then in Tampa and then in Houston. So by no means is that a reflection of his ability. He was available. So, I thought we would get one of the best guys, and the team was on board. And I just think he's also a hell of a punter, and I think we were really fortunate to get him." – special teams coordinator John Fassel