Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cowboys’ Special Teams Garnering All Sorts of Attention

by Matt Cordon

At the conclusion of last season’s 44-6 loss at Philadelphia, the first order
of business for the Cowboys was to

fire special teams coordinator Bruce Read, who had failed miserably in his
two seasons with the club. In his place, the Cowboys hired longtime coach Joe
DeCamillis, who has done wonders for all of the special teams units.

This hasn’t been lost on the press by any means. Consider these articles from
the past few days:

Coach Transforms Underachieving Unit (ESPN Dallas)

“Special” Does Have Special Meaning for Dallas Cowboys (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Don’t Tell DeCamillis Special Teams Have Been Turned Around (Dallas Morning News)

Under The Gun: Cowboys Getting Stellar Play From Gutsy Gunner Spot (

The play of the coverage units has been cause for excitement, especially given
how much trouble the Cowboys have had in the recent past in terms of giving up
long kickoff and punt returns. Five players have at least four special teams
tackles during the first seven games, and these players are worth mentioning:

Alan Ball: 7 tackles, 2 assists
Sam Hurd: 5 tackles, 3 assists
Pat Watkins: 4 tackles, 2 assists
Victor Butler: 4 tackles
Bobby Carpenter: 4 tackles

Thanks to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles currently rank third in the league with a
13.6-yard average per return. On the other hand, Philadelphia only ranks 28th in
kickoff returns, averaging 20.3 yards per return.

Dallas ranks second in punt returns with a 14.3-yard average. However, the
Cowboys are also tied for the league lead in fumbles on punt returns with four.
As for kickoff returns, Dallas ranks 20th with a 22.1-yard average. The Cowboys’
longest kickoff return of the season was 38 yards.