The 2021 NFL season is still a few months away, but the Dallas Cowboys have revealed who will be their primary punt returner this fall. Well, sort of.
Once minicamp came to a close, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy discussed the team’s outlook on special teams with Jon Machota of The Athletic.
McCarthy stressed the important of special teams and why he doesn’t believe players just “graduate” from that side of the football. This is a strong hint that Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb will return some punts this upcoming season.
“We made it clear when I hired John Fassel that special teams was going to be a priority here,” McCarthy said, via The Athletic. “I don’t view players graduating from special teams.
“You like to be able to see your players do more than one thing. It’s something that we talk about a lot in player acquisition. What are the two things he can do? Obviously, his offensive and defensive role, but what part of special teams can he contribute? And hey, you need more than one returner, too. We understand that. It’s a long season. It’s a longer season.”
The Cowboys will have multiple punt returners for the 2021 season, but Lamb will still have a large role on special teams. Last season, the former first-round pick returned 24 punts for 172 yards. He also had one kickoff return for a 47-yard touchdown.
Eventually, Lamb’s snaps on special teams will be reduced since he’s such a vital weapon on offense. However, McCarthy said that time hasn’t come yet.
“Randall Cobb would probably be the last player that I went through it where he started out primarily as the returner and then as he grew and his numbers grew, you start looking at pitch count and things like that. I don’t see us there with CeeDee. But at the end of the day, we’ll have more than one returner.”
Cowboys fans should expect CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard and Cedrick Wilson to play a factor on special teams this year.