I have to admit, I was mesmerized by college highlights of North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer running back kick off returns for touchdowns. I also saw potential in the diminutive receiver as a possible Cole Beasley-clone. I mean, who wouldn’t want another “Bease”, right?
But so far this season, Switzer’s impact as both a returner and a versatile offensive weapon has been minimal. Offensively, that’s easy to explain. The Cowboys simply have too many mouths to feed. And as a rookie on a crowded receiver corps, Switzer is often the last one to the bowl.
The 5-foot-8, 185 receiver has two catches for nine yards and three rushing attempts for nine yards in eight games. And as the team’s primary returner, Switzer has done little to distinguish himself. In fact, his muffed punt in Week Four against the Los Angeles Rams is seen by many as the turning point in that game that eventually led to a Cowboys loss.
Through half the season, Switzer has eight kickoff returns for an average of 21.1 yards per. His longest kickoff return this season has been for 28 yards. The Cowboys fourth rounder has also ran back 13 punts for a total of 81 yards. His longest punt return was for 21 yards.
Ever since his fumbled punt against the Rams, Switzer seems to be a bit more conservative. Although his primary job is certainly to take care of the ball, it should not be at the expense of his bravado and swagger. Switzer is a risk-taker, and at times it will cost the team. But it’s also what makes him a great returner. I fully expect him to break one or two before the season is done.