4

Cut to the Chase

So if this guy launches a punt and a bunch of weird things happen, what's the net yardage? A guy wants to know. Guy named my dad.
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If you pin-pointed cornerback Quincy Butler, punter Jay Ottovegio, receiver Daniel Polk or quarterback Jeff Terrell as a Cinderella to make the Dallas Cowboys’ final roster, sorry, your bracket is screwed.

Those guys disappeared amidst the team’s legislated attrition to 75 players today. The final cut to 53 happens Saturday at 3 p.m., meaning we should hear about Pacman Jones’ full reinstatement any second now.

In other kinda Cowboys news my dad – 68 years young, retired, golfing and inventing ways to exercise his brain down in Rio Vista – calls me last night. Conversation went sorta like this:

Him: Hey, I was watching the Cowboys-Texans game and I was wondering about net-punting yardage. That’s the yardage of the punt, minus any return, right? Seems like a legit stat, since guys go to the Pro Bowl or even get contract bonuses based on the number. So what if the punt goes 65 yards but it’s returned 82? Is that a minus-17 net? Doesn’t really seem fair to the punter that his coverage team can’t tackle does it? And what if the punt goes 47 yards, it’s returned seven yards but there’s a 10-yard, block-in-the-back penalty? Is that total net 40? Or 57? Or what if the 47-yard punt is returned 47 yards, but there's the block-in-the-back penalty? Seems like the net should be 47. Maybe 57. Because to take 47 return yards off the net doesn't seem fair because maybe the special teams tackler would've gotten to the returner had he not been illegally blocked in the back. But I was just wondering. Hello?

Me: Um, yeah, can I call you right back?

Before I pick up the phone, anyone have clarification? I’d look it up, but I’m feverishly finishing a Pacman cover story. Plus, I’m lazy. -- Richie Whitt

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