Harris in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl.
|No. 17 New York Giants|
|Date of birth:||September 16, 1987|
|Place of birth:||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||202 lb (92 kg)|
|High school:||Tucker (GA)|
|NFL draft:||2011 / Round: 6 / Pick: 176|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2015|
|Player stats at PFR|
Dwayne Lenard Harris (born September 16, 1987) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at East Carolina.
Harris played quarterback at Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia. He was considered as one of the best quarterbacks in the southeast by Prep Star Magazine. He was also a 4A All-State selection. He led Tucker to a 10-1 record his senior year.
In his redshirt freshman, he played in all 13 games and was named to the conference's all freshmen team as a punt returner. East Carolina University won the 2007 Hawaii Bowl against Boise State on a team that also featured future NFL running back, Chris Johnson. As a sophomore, he played in 10 games before injuring his foot playing against the University of Southern Mississippi. Regardless of his injury, East Carolina University won the 2008 Conference USA Championship against the University of Tulsa.
In his junior year, he was named to the Conference USA first-team and as the C-USA Special Teams Player-of-the-Year. He played in all 14 games, including a victory against the University of Houston in the 2009 C-USA Championship and a loss to the University of Arkansas in the 2010 Liberty Bowl. In his senior year, Harris played in all 13 games and won the C-USA MVP award. The Pirates lost to the University of Maryland in the 2010 Military Bowl.
He finished his college career with school records for receptions (268) and receiving yards (3,001). He was the first player in school history to top 100 receptions in a season (101 as a senior) and the second player to gain over 6,000 career all-purpose yards (6,380). He is second in school history with 102 kickoff returns for 2,374 yards.
Harris was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In his first career pre-season appearance, he had a game to remember against the Denver Broncos, recording 5 receptions for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns (including a 76-yard touchdown reception), in just 2 quarters of work. Unfortunately his first year was mostly a disappointment, with the Cowboys releasing him on October 18 and signing him to their practice squad. He eventually was signed back to the active roster on December 14. As a rookie he appeared in just seven games, returning 15 punts for 80 yards.
In 2012, he had his first career punt return for a touchdown during a Week 10 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. His 78-yard return broke a fourth-quarter tie and earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. His impact as a returner in special teams convinced the coaching staff to give him more opportunities at wide receiver. Despite being active all season, it wasn’t until week 12 against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving, that he started to produce as a receiver, catching 4 passes for 71 yards. He finished second in the NFL in punt return average (16.1 yards).
During the 2013 season, Harris started to be used as a gunner on special teams and in the opening game against the New York Giants, his three coverage tackles and his effort in forcing one of the Giants’ six turnovers, earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. He was again named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, after his week 6 performance against the Washington Redskins. He registered 222 total return yards which outgained the Cowboys’ offense by nine yards, including an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return. He also became the third player (Chris Boniol and Billy Cundiff were the first) in team history to win the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week two times in a season. Although he was injured in 3 of the last 4 games of the season, he tied for second on the team with 12 special teams tackles, finished ranked third in punt return average (12.8) and second in kick return average (30.6) in the NFL. As a wide receiver he had 9 receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner against the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2014, he led the team with 18 special teams tackles, but all of his other stats dropped off from the previous year. The team struggled in the return game and he was rarely targeted as the fourth wide receiver.
New York Giants
On March 10, 2015, he signed a five-year, $17 million contract with the New York Giants. The deal included $7.1 million guaranteed with a $4 million signing bonus. On October 25, 2015, Harris returned a fourth quarter kickoff 100 yards for the go-ahead touchdown against his former team as the Giants defeated the Cowboys, 27-20. On December 6, 2015, Dwayne Harris returned a punt 80 yards for the touchdown in a 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets, but became one of the few Giants players in all of its franchise history to have a punt and kickoff return touchdown in one season.
- "Cowboys Corner: Dwayne Harris named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week". Cowboys Corner. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Roster Rundown: Harris Provides Punt Return Spark". DallasCowboys.com. Dallas Cowboys. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Dwayne Harris wins NFC special teams honors". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "Harris Takes Home NFC Special Teams Award For 2nd Time". DallasCowboys.com. Dallas Cowboys. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Giants swipe Cowboys speedster with $17 million deal
- Eisen, Michael (March 11, 2015). "Giants sign RB Shane Vereen; announce Free Agent signings". Giants.com. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- Pennington, Bill (2015-10-25). "Dwayne Harris’s Kickoff Return Eases Worries of Giants Fans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
Media related to Dwayne Harris at Wikimedia Commons