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September 26, 2012

Cowboys sign punter Brian Moorman after Chris Jones injured against Bucs

The Cowboys nearly got a second punt blocked in as many weeks when Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson ran into punter Chris Jones in Sunday's 16-10 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Jones got off the punt, and the Cowboys actually got the ball back when returner Jordan Shipley muffed the punt. Linebacker Orie Lemon recovered the ball, and aided by the 15-yard penalty for roughing the punter, the Cowboys offense turned it into a 11-yard touchhdown run by DeMarco Murray.

But there was lingering collateral damage. Jones finished the game but injured his knee on the play. He had a 29-yard punt in the second half, the only time he had to return to the field. It forced the Cowboys to sign former Buffalo punter Brian Moorman on Tuesday, his agent said on Twitter.

A Star with a Star on his helmet...congrats @brianmoorman on being a @dallascowboys

The Cowboys have not yet signed Moorman but the two sides have agreed to terms. They must move someone to injured reserve or release a player to make the move official.

That should happen Thursday.

It is unknown what this means for Jones and the seriousness of his injury.  He was not at practice Wednesday when the media was allowed to watch, and kicker Dan Bailey punted. According to a source, Jones is not going to injured reserve.

Jones was having a strong start to the season, his first in replace of former Pro Bowler Mat McBriar, averaging 46.4 yards on 11 punts this season including a net of 40.7. He had downed five inside 20 and opponents gained just 22 yards on five returns. He had the one blocked against the Seahawks.

Moorman, a 12-year veteran and a member of the Bills 50th anniversary team, was released on Monday. He averaged 45.5 yards on 15 punts in the first three games but had a net of just 32.7 yards per attempt. He downed just two inside the 20. Opponents had amassed 172 yards on eight returns against Moorman.

His poor play is one reason why the Bills got rid of their long-time punter. It's not a good sign for the Cowboys with the Bears and NFL-record setting returner Devin Hester coming to town on Monday.

Jones also served as the holder for Bailey.

Clarence Hill





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