Rookie WR Likely To Resume Return Duties

There are probably a few reasons why the Cowboys decided to call up rookie receiver Dwayne Harris from the practice squad to the active roster on Wednesday.

Because they had a spot on the roster with Jon Kitna to IR? Yeah, maybe.

Because with Felix Jones now the starting tailback, Harris could handle the kick return duties and possibly spot-duty on punt returns? Sure, another good reason.

Because it's that time of year when teams start to pluck from other practice squads to steal players for next year? Yeah, that happens, especially with draft picks such as Harris.

Or maybe, just maybe it's a combination of all of the above, with the addition of Harris simply improving as a player and now having more of a vote of confidence from the coaching staff.

"I think I've become a better player in the last few weeks," said Harris, who played in five games before spending the last eight weeks on the practice squad. "You learn a lot when you're playing behind some of the guys like Miles and Dez and Laurent Robinson. I've just tried to work on the little things. But I'm excited to be back."

And while Harris said he hasn't been informed what his role might be for Saturday night's game with the Bucs, he's expected to get a few returns, either kickoff or punt, or maybe both.

The Cowboys have struggled in the return game this year, averaging just 22.8 yards a return on kickoffs. Harris has three for 74 yards and still leads the team with 11 punt returns, albeit for just 73 yards and a pedestrian 6.6 yard average.

But there's a good chance we will see Harris as the primary returner, even if the Cowboys give Bryant a few turns on punt returns. Bryant has been shaky in his decision-making at times while fielding punts. Harris could be used as a safe option when teams are punting near midfield and it's expected to get just a fair catch.

As for kickoff returns, Harris will likely replace Jones, who is the primary tailback once again.

"I'm ready for whatever they want to throw at me," Harris said. "I've been waiting and working hard for this opportunity again. So I'm going to be ready."  

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