20 Questions: Will the return game improve? 05:02 PM CDT on Saturday, July 17, 2004 By MATT MOSLEY / ************** http://www.**************/s/dws/img/standing/sports/20questions2.jpg When Cowboys coach Bill Parcells says he's going on vacation, he means it. He's done everything but board the windows at Valley Ranch since last month's minicamp. But with training camp just around the corner, fans are hungry for Cowboys news. And that's why we'll address a different topic every day until the first practice July 31 in Oxnard, Calif. Why will the Cowboys have a better return game this season? Because Bill Parcells will make this one of his biggest priorities. The Cowboys don't have the offensive personnel to blow teams off the field, so it's important that they find an x-factor. Parcells knows that an explosive return game can make the difference in a close game. Last season, the team failed to get big returns even on plays in which the blocking was good. Zuriel Smith showed flashes, but he also put the ball on the ground, which is a quick way to get cut. Parcells wants a sure-handed player who is fearless in the return game. The Cowboys made a few poor decisions on punt returns last season, at times letting the ball bounce instead of saving precious field position. Parcells will audition several players in the return game, but look for rookie receiver Patrick Crayton to possibly emerge as the favorite. He has excellent hands and decent speed (4.58 in the 40-yard dash). He has what coaches refer to as excellent football speed, which means he can shift into another gear when he has the ball. A good return man can spot a tiny seam and turn it into a big play. Parcells and special teams coach Bruce DeHaven do an excellent job of teaching the return game, but last season no one seemed to catch on.