Dallas Cowboys Special Teams Depth Chart (Preseason Edition)
The Cowboys had one of the best special teams units last season, when they didn't have to kick field goals.
There should be a lot of changes in the return game because of the draft, and in the kicking game. The only position that's solidified is punter so we'll start with that.
The Cowboys didn't allow a kickoff TD last season and just one punt return for a TD. Patrick Crayton had two punt returns for TD's but he's expected to lose his job.
The only sore spot was field goals. Nick Folk lost all his confidence last season after having two terrific years and was cut. Shaun Suisham was signed but he wasn't any better and was cut at the end of the season.
McBriar has been the Cowboys punter since 2004 and he did a great job last season. 38 of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line and he had just three touchbacks.
The Cowboys signed Delbert Alvarado, from South Florida to as free agent contract. He could challenge McBriar for the job, but I don't see it happening.
Dez Bryan will get the first shot at punt returner although rookie corner Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has punt returning experience.
With these two in the fold Terence Newman's retrurn days are most likely over and if Patrick Crayton stays with the Cowboys so are his, unless he's just going to call a fair catch
Buehler will get the chance to compete with Connor Hughes for the placekicker spot. Buehler was a kickoff specialist last season, but has worked on kicking field goals all offseason
Hughes tried out for the Cowboys last season when they cut Nick Folk, but wasn't signed until after the season ended. He holds the University of Arizona points record and the Cowboys think he can be a solid kicker. If he does beat Buehler, it doesn't mean Buehler is gone.
Buehler was a fantastic kickoff specialist, breaking the team's record for touchbacks in a season.
Buehler also played on the return teams making three tackles. He's an athletic freak who bench more reps at the combine last year than the three USC linebacker who were drafted. He also beat DeAngelo Smith in a 60-yard dash during training camp last season.
The Cowboys will do anything they can to make sure Felix Jones doesn't return kicks again. He was good at it, but the Cowboys don't want him getting hurt returning.
So that leaves Owusu-Ansah as the main returner, assuming he does well in the role. Kevin Ogletree could be the second returner. Jamar Wall is also a candidate although he's not the fastest guy on the team.
Well that's it for now. We'll do this again before training camp and before the season starts. Thanks for reading.