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So Who Will Be Returning Kicks For The Dallas Cowboys In 2015?

Kick returners have the ability to flip the field in a single play, and having a viable weapon that can do just that is vital for the success of any special teams unit. Dallas is going to have to replace one of the game's best at the position before the season gets started.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Several months back I wrote an article talking about one of the areas that the team would have to address in the offseason would be in filling the shoes of Dwayne Harris, who did an admirable job as the Dallas Cowboys kick return specialist. Harris filled the "starting" role for the team in each of the past four seasons, and over that time-frame he averaged over 11 yards per punt return and 26+ yards per kickoff. Those are some pretty serious numbers to have to replace, and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia will likely not be able to replace Harris with just one man.

Head coach Jason Garrett recently addressed the team's prospects as the kick return slot.

"Dwayne did a really nice job for us, not only as a return, but as a complete special teams player, even had a role on offense. Each of those responsibilities, there’s a void there. We’re looking for guys who can step in. I don’t know if you have a preference [whether it’s one returner or two for the two jobs]. I think you want your best punt return guy; you want your best kickoff return guy. Hopeful those guys are on your roster that you don’t have to have a specialty guy in each of those spots. I think based on where we are right now, we’re optimistic that there’s good competition that we can find somebody that we like." - Jason Garrett

Several players are ready to assume a portion of the load once handled by the departed Harris. Lance Dunbar, Tyler Patmon, and J. J Wilcox are among the top prospects from last year's squad who could carve out some additional responsibilities for themselves by handling kickoff returns. When it comes to returning punts, Cole Beasley could also find himself in the mix.

One other man who is turning heads in Oxnard is Lucky Whitehead. The rookie wide receiver out of Florida Atlantic is making his mark and catching the eye of the folks who will make the final decisions.

"We’ve got a lot of college tape on Lucky. He’s done both in college. He’s got great speed. He’s really caught on well in the system we run and what we’re trying to do. He’s studied a lot. He’s spent a lot of his off-time studying it. We’re going to give him a shot and see what he can do. - Rich Bisaccia

It is not just the special teams coach who has been impressed. Jason Garrett and both Jerry and Stephen Jones have been talking Whitehead up over the course of training camp. If Whitehead can continue to have the impact that he has been having and if he can prove himself to be somebody the Cowboys can go to as an option in the return game, Lucky might just carve his own niche in the Dallas Cowboys opening day roster.

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