FanPost

The $300K Question: Jones or McBriar? Did the Cowboys make the right move?

Hello BTB! I suspect many of you out there, like me, are still wondering about the punting decision and whether the Cowboys made the right decision.

Being the research junkie that I am, I decided to dive into the data from Mat McBriar and Chris Jones' preseason punting numbers and see what the good word is.

Jump below and take a look at the numbers to find out the answer, thus far, to the $300K question.

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The following is two weeks of data for your consideration:

MM P#1: From PHI 33 to PIT 24 (43 yards) – Returned 6 yards to PIT 30.
MM P#2: From PHI 22 to PIT 37 (47 yards) – Returned 3 yards to PIT 40.
MM P#3: From PHI 36 to PIT 21 (43 yards) – No gain. Illegal Block.
MM P#4: From PHI 37 to NE 7 (56 yards) – Punt muffed. Recovered, returned 4 yards to NE 11.
MM P#5: From PHI 46 to NE End Zone (54 yards) – Touchback. NE 20.
MM P#6: From PHI 30 to NE 21 (49 yards) – Punt muffed. Recovered. No gain.
MM P#7: From PHI 32 to NE 28 (40 yards) – Returned 1 yard to NE 29.

On average, Mat McBriars’ punts came from the Eagles’ 33.71 yard line and settled at the opponents’ 24.57 yard line. 7 punts, 14 return yards.

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CJ P#1: From OAK 44 to OAK 8 (36 yards) – Downed by McCray at OAK 8.
CJ P#2: From DAL 9 to OAK 35 (56 yards) – Punt muffed. Recovered, returned 1 yard to NE 36.
CJ P#3: From DAL 46 to OAK 14 (40 yards) – Out of bounds at OAK 14.
CJ P#4: From DAL 43 to OAK 13 (44 yards) – Returned 6 yards to OAK 19.
CJ P#5: From 50 YD LINE to SD 11 (39 yards) – Fair caught at SD 11.
CJ P#6: From DAL 29 to SD 26 (45 yards) – Returned 15 yards to SD 41.
CJ P#7: From DAL 22 to SD 33 (45 yards) – Out of bounds at SD 33.
CJ P#8: From DAL 15 to SD 28 (57 yards) – Returned 21 yards to SD 49.

On average, Chris Jones’ punts came from the Cowboys’ 32.25 yard line and settled at the opponents’ 26.37 yard line. 8 punts, 43 return yards.

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McBriar: 41.72 yards from start to finish.
Jones: 41.38 yards from start to finish.

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So far, based on the numbers, it certainly looks the the Cowboys made the right move, saving $300,000 for a difference of only 0.34 yards.

All of this will rest on whether or not Jones can continue as is without any slip ups like the dropped punt. Luckily, in that situation, he recovered for a first down... but what if he hadn't?

On the plus side, Jones seems to offer a new athleticism at the Punter position which could come in handy in a tight situation. The return yardage may be shocking at first glace, but remember that his STs group has to help make that play to stop the return. In one instance, I believe, Jones made a nice tackle for a stop.

I think he's doing a solid job thus far, but I would like to see him in different environments. Will the elements (cold, hot, rain, snow) affect him greatly? How much do his punts differ from an open stadium to a domed stadium? What do you think? Did the Cowboys make the right decision?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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