Jerry Jones is 'all for' Dez Bryant returning punts for Cowboys in 2012

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Bryant's an explosive weapon, but is he best used on punt returns? (Getty Images)

In Week 1 of the 2011 season, Dez Bryant suffered a deep thigh bruise while returning a punt against the Jets and ended up missing the following Week 2 game against the 49ers.

But despite the dangerous potential for injury on special teams, Jerry Jones says he's "all for" seeing his would-be star receiver and "weapon" returning punts in 2012.

"I have no issue with us making business decisions relative to him returning punts," Jones said, via the Dallas Morning-News. "What I do want him to do is to get enough repetitions so he can have a sense of fielding them and when to field them and when not to field them and make those kinds of judgments, but I like him back there to use him when we've got a long field or a chance for a return."

Last season, injuries to the wide receiver corps in Dallas actually paved the way for Laurent Robinson to break out. But his big season paved the way for a monster contract from the Jaguars and a departure from Dallas.

With Robinson gone, the Cowboys don't have much in the way of depth at receiver: Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris are the most experienced options outside of Miles Austin and Bryant. Our Cowboys Rapid Reporter Nick Eaton lists WR3 as the No. 3 position battle to watch in Dallas and has Ogletree as the fave for the spot, with Harris, Raymond Radway, Andre Holmes and Danny Coale listed as possibilities.

In other words, if Austin or Bryant go down, the Cowboys could suddenly be hurting pretty badly at wideout. The more logical move is to take Harris, who was an Conference USA all-freshman punt returner at East Carolina, and let him return kicks while keeping Bryant healthy enough to continue his development as a wideout.

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