When we talk Dallas Cowboys football, sometimes we tend to forget about special teams. We talk about who is scoring touchdowns, who is creating turnovers, but rarely do we get into a special teams discussion.
During last week’s victory over the New York Giants (I love bringing that up), there were some noteworthy plays. Today on Inside The Star, I want to get into two specific players with you. Without further due, let’s get into this.
Let’s begin with the guy who had us all of the preseason eagerly waiting to see him play.
Ryan Switzer’s NFL Debut
The hype around Ryan Switzer has been insanely high since he was drafted in the fourth-round by the Dallas Cowboys. Switzer saw eight special teams snaps in his NFL debut and we saw some interesting things from the young North Carolina product.
In the opening kickoff, Switzer clearly reminded us that he is a rookie. After fielding the opening kickoff, he takes off showing us his speed. Problem is, while all of his teammates are blocking Giants players to his right, he runs to the sideline, trying to out run the kicking team.
Now, I get it. He was used to returning kicks this way in college. Unfortunately, this isn’t the ACC. Ryan Switzer has all the traits he needs to be a quality returner in the NFL but he has to learn how to use his blockers. If he runs through the middle of the field on that play, he would’ve easily gotten beyond the 25 yard line, maybe even to the 30.
Now, there’s no reason to panic of course. Switzer wasn’t able to get any preseason action as he was dealing with a hamstring injury. Ryan is a rookie, and it’s just a matter of time for him to show us what he is all about.
What Switzer didn’t miss during his debut were guts. In this particular play, he tried to pull off quite a sneaky punt return. The Giants players didn’t even noticed the fact that the Cowboys rookie returner never called for a fair catch.
The gain didn’t count, as the referees explained he had “given himself up”, which makes sense. Even still, Ryan Switzer trying this on his first NFL career game says a lot about the kind of player he is. The kind that will do whatever it takes to help this team win.
Chris Jones Punted The Cowboys to Victory
Chris Jones was easily the most underrated Cowboy this week, as he was close to perfection punting the ball on fourth down.
Chris Jones punted the ball four times. He was right on the money as he forced the Giants to begin their possessions from their own six, nine, and 10 (twice) yard lines.
No matter how good an offense is, getting over this kind of adversity is no easy thing to do. Let alone an Eli Manning offense that doesn’t have Odell Beckham on the field.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee all had great performances last Sunday, but Chris Jones was the real MVP of the defense.
When the Cowboys take the field against the Denver Broncos this week, the special teams will be extremely important. Just like the Giants, the Broncos biggest strength is their defense. The Cowboys may find themselves in a another low-scoring game.
If Chris Jones keeps punting this way, the Dallas Cowboys will easily find a way to stop the Trevor Siemian led offense and walk away with a W.