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Dallas Article On Dwayne Harris


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NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray left a gargantuan hole in the Dallas offense when he defected to the East.

It will be a challenge for head coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and running back coach Gary Brown to replace what Murray gave this offense on the ground.

So three coaches have been tasked to replace one player on offense. But Cowboys special-teams coach Rich Bisaccia faces a more complex challenge. One coach has been tasked to replace four players on special teams.

And those four players all departed Dallas with one signature on a free-agency contract.

When the New York Giants gave Dwayne Harris a five-year, $17.5 million contract with $7.1 million of it guaranteed, it raised eyebrows around the NFL. How can anyone give that much money to a wide receiver who has caught only 33 passes in his four NFL seasons?

Simple - the Giants stole one of the NFL’s best special-teams players away from the Cowboys.

If you honestly believe special teams constitute a third of the game, this was a titanic hit to the Cowboys. Not of the magnitude of Murray’s departure to Philadelphia - but not far behind.

In luring Harris out of Dallas, the Giants signed the best kick returner, the best punt returner, the best kickoff coverage ace and the best gunner on the punt team away from the Cowboys.

In 2013, the Cowboys finished fourth in the NFL in special teams. The Giants ranked 28. The Cowboys ranked fourth in kickoff returns, the Giants 27. The Cowboys ranked fifth in punt returns, the Giants 26. The Cowboys ranked seventh in kickoff coverage, the Giants ninth. The Cowboys ranked 18 in punt coverage, the Giants 30.

In 2014, the Cowboys finished 13 in special teams, the Giants 25. The Cowboys ranked 13 in kickoff returns, the Giants 18. The Cowboys ranked 13th in punt returns, the Giants 18. The Cowboys ranked sixth in kickoff coverage, the Giants second. The Cowboys ranked 20 in punt coverage, the Giants 27.

The Giants clearly needed to improve on the kicking downs - and they plan to do that at the expense of their division rival. Harris was a key figure on all four of those special-teams units.

Harris led the Cowboys in special-teams tackles in 2014 with 18 and finished second in 2013 with 13. He also finished second in the NFL in punt returns in 2012 with a 16.1 average and second in the NFL in kickoff returns in 2013 with a 30.6 average.

Harris quietly developed into one of the most explosive weapons on the team as well. But he did it in the shadows of Murray, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and even Terrance Williams. The Cowboys may not have appreciated his contributions. The Giants did.

In his four seasons, Harris gave the Cowboys 29 plays of at least 30 yards or more. He is one of only three players in NFL history with both a kickoff and punt return of 85-plus yards in one game. He returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown against Washington in a 2013 game and ran a kickoff back 90 yards that same day.

Harris had a 78-yard punt return for a score in 2012 against Philadelphia, a 56-yard kickoff return against Detroit in 2013 and a 56-yard pass reception against San Francisco in 2014. He also caught a seven-yard game-winning TD pass against Minnesota with 35 seconds left in a 2013 game.

Harris caught that 56-yard pass against the 49ers in the season opener. It was the longest play of the game for the Cowboys. Romo didn’t throw Harris another pass in the next three games.

Only Dez Bryant caught longer passes for the Cowboys last season - four TD receptions in the 60-yard range. But the Cowboys threw Bryant 188 passes on the season, giving him ample opportunity to make plays. Romo only threw 11 passes at Harris and he caught seven of them.

Harris wasn’t going to be a factor on offense for the Cowboys going forward. Not with Bryant, Witten, Williams, Cole Beasley with his newly-minted contract and the second-round potential of Gavin Escobar ahead of him in the minds of the Garrett-Linehan think tank.

The Giants have told Harris he will get the chance to contribute on offense. And he definitely will contribute on special teams.

The loss of Murray to the Eagles hurt the Cowboys. So did the loss of Harris to the Giants. More than you’d think.

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20150419-gosselin-the-most-challenging-hole-for-cowboys-to-fill-isn-t-demarco-murray.ece

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You know as lack luster as people say this FA period has been, I wonder what other signings the Giant's could of made with these 'impact' players some posters have wanted, I personally liked the Harris signing.

 

I mean the Giants are heading into a year where by the end of it, the franchise is potentially flipped on it's head.

 

JPP, Eli, Prince, Jennings, heck I think only 30 some odd players are on contract for next year.

 

Me thinks the FO was saving money cause the 2016 Giants are going to be a completely different roster from head to toe than the 2015 team and they want to see who will be getting carried over.

 

Weird to think Eli might be taken his last snap in blue this season.

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You know as lack luster as people say this FA period has been, I wonder what other signings the Giant's could of made with these 'impact' players some posters have wanted, I personally liked the Harris signing.

 

I mean the Giants are heading into a year where by the end of it, the franchise is potentially flipped on it's head.

 

JPP, Eli, Prince, Jennings, heck I think only 30 some odd players are on contract for next year.

 

Me thinks the FO was saving money cause the 2016 Giants are going to be a completely different roster from head to toe than the 2015 team and they want to see who will be getting carried over.

 

Weird to think Eli might be taken his last snap in blue this season.

Thing is they didn't save any money. They bid against themselves for average players like Thomas and Harris. They get could PR specialist in the draft ten times over for the money they spent on Harris. If they are going to blow up the roster why wait a year?

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Harris is not an average player. He is well above average. He has hurt us bad, has had as much on the impact of games as Dez Bryant, IMHO. Further, others said he was offered similar money elsewhere. Further, Harris, who is probably the best special teams player in the NFL, will also likely have a role on offense, and can likely play a big role in the slot if Cruz isn't ready or is ineffective. Lastly, his contract isn't as enormous as people think. It's a reasonable deal, a good deal considering the caliber of player we are getting.

 

For me, he's the best free agent sign we had, and I'm more excited about what he's going to mean for the team than I am about Vereen.

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Thing is they didn't save any money. They bid against themselves for average players like Thomas and Harris. They get could PR specialist in the draft ten times over for the money they spent on Harris. If they are going to blow up the roster why wait a year?

 

Well outside of just releasing everyone this year and incurring millions in dead space cap the next season they are letting the contracts play out.

 

They got guys who I would expect they want to build with, all these one year and two year contracts are up next season, heck the entire starting offense other than OBJ, Cruz and Beatty are basically gone next season.

 

Doesnt look any better on defense.

 

Why cut players now when it just going to hurt you in the long run with dead space? Let the contracts play out and see who, if anyone, you want to resign.

 

It's painfully obvious the Giants have been getting reafy rebuild the last couple of season despite what FO/Ownership has to say, by getting ready to let half of the team go.

 

You don't sign multiple players to one and two year contracts and let all your "star" players sit on a contract year.

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Harris is not an average player. He is well above average. He has hurt us bad, has had as much on the impact of games as Dez Bryant, IMHO. Further, others said he was offered similar money elsewhere. Further, Harris, who is probably the best special teams player in the NFL, will also likely have a role on offense, and can likely play a big role in the slot if Cruz isn't ready or is ineffective. Lastly, his contract isn't as enormous as people think. It's a reasonable deal, a good deal considering the caliber of player we are getting.

 

For me, he's the best free agent sign we had, and I'm more excited about what he's going to mean for the team than I am about Vereen.

 

When it comes to Harris, we've seen some very, very lazy analysis from the media (the nj.com article posted above being a perfect example).

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Harris is not an average player. He is well above average. He has hurt us bad, has had as much on the impact of games as Dez Bryant, IMHO. Further, others said he was offered similar money elsewhere. Further, Harris, who is probably the best special teams player in the NFL, will also likely have a role on offense, and can likely play a big role in the slot if Cruz isn't ready or is ineffective. Lastly, his contract isn't as enormous as people think. It's a reasonable deal, a good deal considering the caliber of player we are getting.

 

For me, he's the best free agent sign we had, and I'm more excited about what he's going to mean for the team than I am about Vereen.

He had chances to beat out Beasley for the slot job and Dallas and not only didn't climb the depth chart went further down it and receptions declined year after year. Who hasn't killed Quinn's st units? Instead of looking at that has a problem the Giants go out and get the guy that killed them. He wasn't even top ten in return average last year and has two career return td's.

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he's one of those guys that i'm happy to have on the team but i'm not so sure represents positive value as a free agent signing. he's a nice utility guy who can fill a few roles but expecting him to be a big contributor in the passing game might be expecting too much. guys like him are supposed to be guys you draft in the 6th round, not guys you give guaranteed money to

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When it comes to Harris, we've seen some very, very lazy analysis from the media (the nj.com article posted above being a perfect example).

How is it lazy to provides stats onwhat he is or isn't? It's more to lazy to say this signing is great because Reese made it and how dare you question it

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Harris is not an average player. He is well above average. He has hurt us bad, has had as much on the impact of games as Dez Bryant, IMHO. Further, others said he was offered similar money elsewhere. Further, Harris, who is probably the best special teams player in the NFL, will also likely have a role on offense, and can likely play a big role in the slot if Cruz isn't ready or is ineffective. Lastly, his contract isn't as enormous as people think. It's a reasonable deal, a good deal considering the caliber of player we are getting.

 

For me, he's the best free agent sign we had, and I'm more excited about what he's going to mean for the team than I am about Vereen.

 

+1

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How is it lazy to provides stats onwhat he is or isn't? It's more to lazy to say this signing is great because Reese made it and how dare you question it

 

You posted the article I was referring to, didn't you even read it? The author only stacked the signing up relative to other kick returners. It was terrible analysis.

 

It may or may not be a good signing relative to the contract value, but over and over again I see writers and folks on this board who seem to be drawing their conclusions based on very, very flawed logic.

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Harris is just a punt returner? You sure about that?

Well...he brings nothing has as WR and there's no such thing has kickoff returns anymore. Oh he's a gunner too, which five people are already doing and none of it makes a difference has long has Quinn is coaching special teams. Our D also can't get off the field on 3rd down, so being a pr really doesn't matter either
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Yeah, five lousy gunners... that cupboard was bare, so IMO, thats the most valuable thing Harris brings to the table.

 

It is alarming that Beasley beat him out, but that isn't a bad player either. Lots of good offensive players down in Dallas, and only one football to go around.

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So taking the approximate KR and PR averages from Dwayne Harris in Dal, 2013-2014.... we'll be taking our KR/PR from a ranking of about 22 to 18, and we've spent 17 million to do so (7 million guaranteed)

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I mean the Giants are heading into a year where by the end of it, the franchise is potentially flipped on it's head.

 

JPP, Eli, Prince, Jennings, heck I think only 30 some odd players are on contract for next year.

 

Me thinks the FO was saving money cause the 2016 Giants are going to be a completely different roster from head to toe than the 2015 team and they want to see who will be getting carried over.

 

Weird to think Eli might be taken his last snap in blue this season.

 

There's one guy who totally agrees with you.

 

bill-cowher-coaching-future-2014.jpg

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