With 2013 NFL campaign in the books, it is time to look ahead to the 2014 season. For the Dallas Cowboys, 2014 cannot get here soon enough. After another disappointing season missing the playoffs for a fourth straight year, Dallas will hope next year will be different. Before they can get to the 2014 season, they must first make offseason moves to try to improve the team. I have been breaking down the Cowboys’ roster by position, and now I’m going to focus on the special teams.
In 2013, the special teams were probably the best unit for the Cowboys. Punter Chris Jones had a good year with 30 punts landing inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line. The punt coverage team was good, allowing only nine yards per return. The kickoff coverage team was much improved as well.
In a league where many games are decided by a field goal, having a great kicker is a must. Kicker is one position Dallas doesn’t have to worry about. Dan Bailey is as automatic as any kicker in the league. In the past two seasons, Bailey has made 57 out of 61 kicks, and only one of his four misses was from under 50 yards. Dallas can rest easy knowing that if they send out Bailey with the game on the line they are more than likely going to walk away with a win.
Another bright spot for Dallas was the kick and punt return game. Dewayne Harris was the primary kickoff and punt return guy. On kickoffs Harris averaged 30.6 yards per return, and on punts he averaged 12.8 yards with one touchdown return. Twice he won the NFC special teams Player of the Week.
As Dallas goes into the NFL Draft, they do not need to look at special teams. They have their kicker, punter and return guy. Dallas has a lot of holes on their roster, but special teams are not one of them. It is the one unit on their team that matches up well with the best teams in the league. For a team that is extraordinarily mediocre, that is saying a lot.