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September 24, 2011

Harris' punt return in OT helped Cowboys last week, and Garrett has hopes for him

Rookie Dwayne Harris said he tries to get a first down on every punt return. That is, make at least 10 yards.

So far, so good. He’s averaged 10.5 yards on four in the first two games. His 11-yard return last week in overtime got the ball outside the 20-yard line. The Cowboys started at the 22, and on the first play, Tony Romo hit Jesse Holley on a 77-yard pass that set up the game-winning field goal.

“I thought it was a good return,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It was a positive play for us. It went north and south. That’s a good thing. He’s pretty confident and reliable catching the football back there. That’s Line 1 when you’re a punt returner.”

Harris returned 51 punts and 102 kickoffs in his four years at East Carolina. He returned three kickoffs for a touchdown as a junior. He averaged 9.4 yards on punt returns in college.

“I think he’s done some good things just making some positive plays,” Garrett said. “He did in the preseason, and he did the other day in the game. So you want to make sure you secure the ball, first and foremost, but as he gets more confident back there, you’ll start to see some of the things that we saw out of him coming out of school.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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