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Dez: Ryan Switzer will return '4 or 5' kicks for TDs in '17

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  • By Tyler Horka NFL.com
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Dez Bryant made a bold prediction after practice Thursday, and it wasn't about himself.

Bryant surely has his own goals this season, but he set the bar pretty high for one of his rookie teammates: Ryan Switzer. Bryant said Switzer will get "four or five" special teams return touchdowns this season.

"He will be a Pro Bowl returner in his rookie year," Bryant said.

The Cowboys selected Switzer in the fourth round of this year's draft. He complied seven punt return TDs in his four years at North Carolina.

With Cole Beasley cemented as the slot receiver in Dallas, Switzer knows snaps will be hard to come by on offense. But with the team cutting Lucky Whitehead last month, a door has opened for the rookie to shine on special teams.

"With as stacked an offense as we have, I understand I have to make an impact [on special teams]," Switzer said. "Because I'm not going to be the focal point of our offense. I understand that, and that's OK. But I do feel like I can help this team."

The Cowboys play the Rams on Saturday in Los Angeles, but Switzer said his NFL debut will likely be put on hold for at least another week as he nurses a hamstring injury. Switzer was a full participant in Thursday's practice. When his number is called in a game situation, he feels he'll be ready to live up to the pressure Bryant bestowed upon him.

"It's something that I've been comfortable with in the past," Switzer said on returning kicks. 'Obviously, I haven't done it in the NFL yet. So I know that's going to be different. But I am looking forward to being back there. I am excited. I am ready for that pressure, ready for that being the only one out there moment."

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