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September 21, 2007

To Test Devin Hester or Not Test Devin Hester?

Facing Bears returner Devin Hester has been likened to pitching to Barry Bonds when he was in his prime: Do you even bother?
When the odds and statistics suggest Hester is going to do some damage, do you try to muscle up and prove can be one of the few to stop him?
"Oh, I think yeah," Cowboys special teams coach Bruce Read said.
That doesn't mean the Cowboys will kick to Hester. It means Read is like anybody else - you want to try to see if you can.
"All of this is fun. It's scary stuff and our guys have been fantastic," Read said. "It's been a great challenge. Hester is different because of his numbers and what he's done. He can take a game over on his own. So we have to do all we can to prevent him from scoring points and getting good field position."
The last time the NFL saw a returner this explosive was Dante Hall when he was in his prime with the Chiefs; in '04, he returned two punts and two kicks for touchdowns. He also returned one in the postseason for a score.
"I was at San Diego when he was with the Chiefs, and we covered him before he was 'Dante Hall' and I was saying this guy is really good," Read said. "They were like, 'We don't know who he is.' At least these guys know who (Hester) is."

- Mac Engel

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