It seems like every year a special team player stands out from the rest of the pack. Whether it is Devin Hester, Joshua Cribbs or Trindon Holliday somebody elevates their game to another unforeseen level.
Dwayne Harris is next.
The former East Carolina Pirate isn’t the fastest returner out of the bunch mentioned but what Harris does have is a knack of finding the creases necessary for a good return. Harris can be the added dimension that the Dallas Cowboys need to help them change field position in their favor. With key players dropping like flies, field position is going to be a huge determining factor in Sunday’s game versus the Philadelphia Eagles and for the rest of the season. Harris’ ability to ignite a team can prove to be the deciding edge if the game comes down to the wire. Harris will be looking to duplicate they kind of return success he had as a rookie, when he scored his first touchdown as a professional when he returned a punt 78-yards for a touchdown against the Eagles last season
Harris has 623 punt-return yards on the year and also has a fumble recovery. Teams are going to start game planning for the special teamer in hopes of stopping the big play. Big plays such as a long run back after a punt or a huge hit on special teams are some of the little things the Cowboys’ are going to have to do in order to combat some of the injury woes they have this season. After winning the NFC special teams award twice this week, special team coaches from here on out are going to start game planning on ways to keep the ball from No. 17.
Harris, who is already garnishing recognition for his returning ability will start to get the same treatment as some of the great returners before him. Teams often abandon what they spent practicing all week if a returner like Harris is able to gain some yards on punts. This can lead to poor kicking yardage alone with a lot of directional kicks. Any time you can get a football player to stop doing what comes natural to them and get to them to start over thinking about their job, you already have a mental edge over an opponent. When No. 17 drops back for a punt or a kick he’s already won one battle and if you kick to him he’s probably going to win the next one too.