When opponents have dared to take Quinn Sharp's kickoffs out of the end zone — six times among 30 boots — they've fared well.
Entering the weekend, the Cowboys ranked dead last, No. 120, in kickoff coverage, allowing an average return of 41.7 yards.
The struggles could be due in part to a coverage unit that in the last game featured seven freshmen. Still, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy remains committed to the youngsters.
"We're going to stay with them," Gundy said. "That subject's been brought up, though."
Some teams use starters on the special teams units. The Cowboys have in the past, too.
"There's always a real fine line there," Gundy said. "You can put all your starters on there and run them down in the game. They may have to run down eight times, full speed. Then you have to practice them all week. You only have so many times those guys can run down the field."
Gundy allowed that if not for Sharp's kickoffs producing consistent touchbacks, things might be different.
"They have made some mistakes," Gundy said of the freshmen. "They've not fit properly. They've not adjusted to certain blocking schemes.
"We're going to continue to coach them and try to make them better. We think in the long run it's overall better for our team with those guys out there."
JUMPING FOR JOY
The Cowboys have made the fade route a red-zone favorite thus far, with Brandon Weeden connecting several times with Justin Blackmon and once with Michael Harrison for jump-ball touchdowns.
Blackmon said he relishes such matchups.
"Going up and getting the ball is one of my strong points," Blackmon said. "It's a lot of fun winning the battle one-on-one. When you catch the ball on somebody one-on-one, it takes them down a little bit and picks you up."
Weeden has so far tried to downplay the numbers the OSU offense has compiled.
Still, even he admits that the 722-yard performance against Tulsa was something special.
"That's a pretty good feat for us," Weeden said. "I'd be lying if I said we weren't excited about it.
"It was good going into the off week, too, as a momentum builder."