The Dallas Cowboys had one of the worst pass defenses in football all of last year. As a matter of fact, their sytarting cornerbacks from last year, Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman, were deemed among the 10 worst corners in the entire sport by Football Outsiders. So it makes perfect sense that the Cowboys would see fit to give $10 million guaranteed to the gentleman who played BEHIND those two sieves. From Adam Schefter:
Cowboys and CB Orlando Scandrick have reached agreement on a 5-year extension worth $27 million, including $10 million guaranteed.
Now, Dave Campo has lauded Scandrick for being a brilliant nickel package corner, covering receivers in the slot. And that's all well and good. Scandrick has only two career interceptions, but interceptions are a lousy barometer of determining top cornerbacks (Nnamdi Asomugha, for example, had zero picks last year and only three in the past four years because no one throws his way). Scandrick may very well be good at nickel coverage, and he has the added benefit of NOT being Mike Jenkins or Terence Newman.
But this is a lot of money to pay a third cornerback. Newman is nursing a groin injury and one would assume this new contract means Scandrick will, at some point, become a starting corner. He better be. The team gave him a nice extension without really knowing if he'll thrive covering wideouts on the edge of the field. And if they keep him in the slot, why are they paying $10 million to a third corner?
I can't emphasize enough how awful this team was at pass coverage last season. It wasn't like playing against air, because at least air offers up some courtesy resistance. They were worse than air. I know the team was disappointed Asumugha didn't sign with them, and I'm glad they didn't make any rash moves that would have made matter worse. But I don't see the point of extending Scandrick now when he could have used this coming season as a proving ground as a starter. If he ends up sucking, then it's $10 million down the toilet. Or thrown up into the air, if you will.
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