Dez Bryant has been asking for a chance to return punts, and he finally got his wish in the fourth quarter Thursday.
Bryant, who hasn’t returned a punt since Miles Austin injured his hamstring against Seattle on Nov. 6, came in to field the Dolphins’ final punt with just over three minutes left in the game. Bryant dodged several tacklers on his way to a 20-yard return to the Cowboys 36-yard line, giving the team a spark before its 54-yard drive for the game-winning field goal.
“The way he competed and got that return in was a significant play for us,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
The Cowboys also used Felix Jones on kickoff returns, although he didn’t have any carries against the Dolphins. Jones averaged 18.5 yards on four returns.
“We’re looking for spots,” coach Jason Garrett said. “… Those are play-making type guys. … They certainly have a significant role on our offense. But when you get the ball I their hands, that’s a good thing … and I thought Dez did a really nice job handling that.”
— Lori Dann