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Cowboys Special Teams Has One Open Position Battle

Will the Dallas Cowboys have a new punter this year?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

The Dallas Cowboys special teams unit proved to be just that last year - special. Dwayne Harris has developed into a dual threat on punts and he can do work returning kickoffs. Whether he's returning kicks or covering them, the man is getting the job done, and then some.

Dwayne Harris was also tremendous. He had the NFL's third-best punt return average and only one player averaged more yards than Harris taking back kickoffs. Last season Harris scored a touchdown on an 86-yard punt return. He also went 90 yards after fielding a kickoff.

Dan Bailey is also money, converting 93% of his kicks and he's progressed to the point where he can handle kickoffs along with field goals, allowing the Cowboys to save a roster spot. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur is Mr. Consistency.

But at punter, the Cowboys have a competition going. Incumbent Chris Jones had an okay year in 2013, but certainly not enough to warrant a secure position. Jones had a net average of 39.1 yards per punt which was ranked 20th in the league. His gross was 45 yards per kick. He does well in the "touch" department, he tied for eighth in the league with 30 kicks inside the 20 yard line, and was second in the league with 27 fair catches.

The Cowboys have brought in Cody Mandell out of Alabama to challenge Jones. Mandell had a gross of 47 yards per kick in 2013, with a net of 42.5 yards. He spent the final mini-camp practice at AT&T Stadium pegging the video board, although there was some speculation the board was at a lower height than usual.

So what'cha think BTB? Will it be Jones or Mandell punting for the 'Boys in 2014?

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