The punter for the Dallas Cowboys, Chris Jones, has been in a slump. This extends back to last year as his yards per punt average has dropped significantly. Most of that has been attributed to various injuries, and this week it got so bad that it was decided he needed surgery for a core muscle problem.
Jones had a really good run where his punt yards average was in the mid-40s and he was regularly pinning opponents inside the 20. Over the last two years, though, his punt yards average has dropped into the low 40s. Last week against Philadelphia, he averaged 39 yards on three punts. That was the final straw. He is having surgery this week and will miss a few weeks, at least.
His replacement will be Hunter Niswander. He was signed to the practice squad on October 26th of this year as a kind of do-it-all specialist.
“We had a spot open on the practice squad, so we just thought it would be smart to cover ourselves so if something happened we would have somebody in here that could do the punting, the kicking off or the field goals just in case something happened – which hasn’t happened, but we thought we’d cover ourselves right there.” - John Fassel
Niswander played in all 5 XFL games with 21 punts with a average yards per punt of 44.6.
That’s a healthy average and he wasn’t too bad at pinning teams inside the 20.
Niswander only recorded two touchbacks, along with eight of his punts pinning opponents inside the 20.
Niswander punted in college at Northwestern and had a productive senior year.