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September 13, 2012

Leon Washington might be challenged even to get a chance against Chris Jones

Chris Jones has played only three games, but one of those was against Seattle last year. The Cowboys punter held Leon Washington to three fair catches while filling in for Mat McBriar last November.

"This was actually my first game that I played in last season and knowing how much, how good of a returner he is," Jones said. "He’s shifty. He’s strong. Obviously, he’s athletic. He’s just an all-around good runner. He’s a game-changer for them. I’ve got to do everything I can to eliminate him. I’ve got to have great direction, great hang time. I’ve got to try to pin him close to the sidelines and just try to take him out of every play every chance I get."

Washington had three kickoff returns for 133 yards, with a long of 83, and two punt returns for 56 yards, with a long of 52, against the Cardinals last week. But Jones was just as good at his job. He averaged 54 yards with a net of 51.5 in the season opener against the Giants.

“Chris had a really good [game] -- two long kicks, two kicks with really good direction that limited returns," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "I think the net was over 50. Whenever you can take a return opportunity away from the opposing team, particularly the returns that those guys have, that’s a really positive thing. We didn’t have to punt a lot in the ball game -- we punted twice -- and he got his job done. I thought he handled himself well.”

In three games, Jones has allowed only 6 -- count 'em 6 -- return yards. His average is 44.5.

"I didn’t know that," Jones said of the 6 return yards. "Wow! I didn’t know that. I need to keep that up. Everything I can do to help. That’s what I want to do. If I can average 48, and net 45, and they have one return for 3 yards, that’s a great day."

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean




Jones, appearing in only his third game last week, did a nice job on his two punts, finishing with a net average of 51.5 yards. Coincidentally, he made his NFL debut against the Seahawks halfway through last year, filling in for an injured Mat McBriar, and forcing Washington into three fair catches.


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