The Dallas Cowboys special teams were anything but special last year. This offseason they've made some moves to rectify that problem. The obvious was the signing of Mike Vanderjagt to handle FG's. Ironically his addition has created a new need on special teams, the kickoff specialist.
I talked to a current NFL assistant coach on the phone the other day and he assured me Vanderjagt won't handle the kickoff duties for the Cowboys this year. He also said if we try to use Vanderjagt to kickoff, he'll probably end up with an injury to his leg trying to over-compensate to get longer kicks. Vanderjagt isn't a young man anymore, so keep an eye out for kickoff specialists on the UDFA list.
Last year, Keith Davis and Terrance Copper were our two best special teams players. Davis is back thanks to a new contract in the offseason and he should be fresher on special teams because the Cowboys got him some help at his regular position. They also added Rocky Boiman to the roster who is another stand-out special teams players.
Dallas didn't have a dyanmic punt returner on the roster except for Terence Newman who they didn't want to risk on punt returns. Now they've got Skyler Green who can take it to the house anytime he touches the ball, giving the Cowboys the threat they've lacked recently. Green should also pair up with Tyler Thompson on kickoff returns to give Dallas a double threat. The Cowboys also drafted Pat Watkins out of FSU who was recognized as one of the best "gunners" on punt coverage teams in all of the NCAA.
The Cowboys lost some games last year that can be directly tied to the kicking game. They also lost games because they couldn't tilt the field posotion in their favor through punt returns. This year, the Cowboys special teams units should finally be special.
We're just waiting for one more signing, the kickoff specialist.