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September 17, 2012

Felix Jones could be replaced as kickoff returner

The Cowboys will reassess their situation at kick returner after watching Felix Jones fumble the opening kickoff Sunday against the Seahawks. Seattle converted the turnover into a field goal.

It was the sixth lost fumble in Jones' career.

“When you make a play like that, you look hard again at that and what the alternatives are,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday at Valley Ranch. “... We have a few different guys working at that, and we’ll evaluate that again this week.”

Dwayne Harris had a team-leading eight returns last season, averaging 28.9 yards with a long of 51. Dez Bryant also has returned kicks in his career, including three last season, but the Cowboys have been reluctant to use their starting receiver there after he broke his right fibula on a return against the Colts as a rookie. Kevin Ogletree and rookie Morris Claiborne have worked on returns in practice as has practice squad player Lance Dunbar. Ogletree had six returns for a 19.0 average last season.

Jones averaged 21.8 yards on five returns against Seattle, but he started two returns deep in the end zone and got past the 20-yard line only once. He has been the only returner this season.

Garrett said Jones’ explosiveness hasn’t shown, perhaps because he missed the off-season with a shoulder injury. Jones averaged 27.1 yards on kickoff returns as a rookie, with a 98-yard touchdown return. He has not been nearly as dangerous since.

“We have to improve in that area obviously, and then hopefully we’ll continue to improve, both our returner and how we’re blocking things to get him better opportunities,” Garrett said.

Jones, a first-round pick in 2008, is in the final year of his rookie contract in what could be his last season in Dallas. He has only one carry for 1 yard this season as DeMarco Murray's backup and has caught four passes for 40 yards.

-- Charean Williams




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Felix needs to go!!! There is no passion left in his heart. He trots out of the endzone like he is going out jogging instead of returning kickoffs. The refs blew several calls and it seems like the players are all just committing every penalty just to see if they get caught, Hell I would teach the players to do so, what could it hurt. They actually held our receiver on the interception and got away with it. Alot of balls tipped at the line of scrimmage. We should of won that game...

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