Out: Orlando Scandrick. In: Morris Claiborne.
Ring a bell?
Better late than never – but under undesirable circumstances – the Cowboys desperately need the former No. 6 overall draft pick to play like, well, a No. 6 overall draft pick. When Scandrick was carted off the field Tuesday afternoon in Oxnard with a torn ACL that will require season-ending surgery, it gave the starting right cornerback job to Claiborne.
From insurance policy to pressurized position. And, like yours, my confidence level in Dallas’ defense just took a measurable dip.
That’s because Claiborne has never been an impact player. In three years he has three interceptions, scoring a lone touchdown as a rookie in 2012 on a fumble recovery. The Cowboys traded up to nab him, but Deion Sanders he isn’t.
In fact he was beaten out by Scandrick last year before he suffered a season-ending torn patellar tendon. But now, necessity just gave Claiborne a job promotion.
By all accounts Claiborne was diligent in his rehab and – though he didn’t play in the first two preseason games – has enjoyed a productive training camp in California.
Still, I’d feel much more comfortable with Claiborne and his shaken confidence as a backup than a starter. A couple of mental breakdowns and – voila – the Cowboys are starting rookie Byron Jones.
That’s the dangerous thing about Scandrick’s injury. Not only what the Cowboys will miss. But also what they might get.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.