Monday, May 9, 2011

Could Dwayne Harris Be the Next Miles Austin for the Dallas Cowboys?

When a wide receiver gets drafted in the sixth round there are not a whole lot of expectations that come with him. The same was said about another sixth round pick back in 2000 before New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady became a Super Bowl champion and a husband to one of the hottest women on the planet.

Dwayne Harris Wide receiver Dwayne Harris #17 of the East Carolina Pirates is tackled by linebacker Davon Morgan #2 of the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

For former East Carolina wide receiver Dwayne Harris, he is not expecting to be the next star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys but he does want a chance to at least compete. "Every player is going to come in and fight to earn their spot," Harris told the Dallas Morning News. "I don't want anything given to me., I am going to fight for my job and fight for my position."

It is that exact mindset which could make Harris a dangerous player to the other wide receivers on the roster. His wanting to compete could make him fight that much harder to make sure he stays in the thoughts and minds of head coach Jason Garrett as well as the rest of the coaching staff.

While no one expects this young wide receiver to battle Miles Austin, Roy Williams, or Dez Bryant for their starting roles, Harris is still a guy who received praise from a coach of a rival Conference USA team.

“I just know when we played them the last two years, he was their heart and soul,” Rice head coach David Bailiff told the San Antonio Express-News. “I think they got a great pick. I can’t believe he went in the sixth round. You look at him going in the sixth and you say, ‘Wow. He’s a couple of rounds higher than that.’ ”

Baliff wasn't done praising the former ECU receiver, “He was such a great weapon for them. He could take the short or intermediate route and go the distance, and he could do the long ball. You had to be aware of him every snap and do something to bracket him. He's that special."

Harris, the all-time leader in catches and receiving yards at East Carolina, finished his senior season with 1,123 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, good enough to land him the Conference USA MVP

Don't expect Harris to contribute from the wide out spot with the Dallas Cowboys any time soon but Garrett did say he's physical enough to possibly be a returner for the team and even get some special teams experience.

“He was a guy that was both very productive as an offensive player and as a special-teams guy,” Garrett said. "He's a potential returner for us, but could also contribute on special teams in other ways. He's a physical guy. We've had receivers in our history who filled this role, a guy who can be productive on offense but also be physical and willing to play special teams.”

That is high praise coming from an NFL coach about a sixth round pick who really will not get more than a few column inches in any newspaper or online sports website.

If Harris is as good as David Bailiff says he is or as physical as Jason Garrett says he is, maybe he could be a player the Dallas Cowboy fans might get to know sooner rather than later.

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