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October 11, 2012

Cowboys getting backup backup plan ready at punter

The Cowboys are on the backup, backup plan at punter. They have reached out to some free agent punters in case neither of their injured punters -- Brian Moorman or Chris Jones -- is healthy enough to punt Sunday against Baltimore.

The Cowboys signed Moorman, who beat out Ryan Donahue in a tryout before the game against the Bears, as a temporary replacement for Jones. Jones sprained his left (kicking) knee on a hit in the Tampa Bay game Sept. 23. But Moorman injured his groin Wednesday. He appeared on the injury report with Jones.

"We’ve just got to play out the injury situation with both those guys," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "Chris Jones hurt his knee a couple of weeks ago and did a good job getting through the ball game after he hurt his knee. Brian Moorman did a good job for us last week when he had an opportunity to punt. He got hurt yesterday in practice, so we’re going to continue to monitor through the rest of the week as with Chris and see if one of those guys will be healthy enough to play."

Jones has a 46.4 average and 40.7 net on his 11 punts this season. Moorman, who was released by the Bills the week the Cowboys signed him, had a 37.0 average and a 34.3 net on his three punts against the Bears on Oct. 1.

The Cowboys had five specialists on their roster at one point last season beforeveteran punter Mat McBriar went on injured reserve. They now have four.

"I just think you have to understand what the situation is and respond accordingly," Garrett said. "We did that for injury reasons last year, and if that comes up again, right now we have four specialists on our 53-man roster, and we've just got to figure out how the injuries play out and what our best decisions are."

Kicker Dan Bailey was an emergency punter last season for McBriar, with a 39.5 average and a 37.0 net on his two punts against Philadelphia on Oct. 30.

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean


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