ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Cornerback Mike Jenkins #21 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Jenkins;DeSean Jackson
In Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive backs may have had their best game, as a unit, of the season--which is peculiar, as starting cornerbacks Terence Newman (ankle) and Mike Jenkins (neck) each left the game with injury. Jenkins would not return; Newman later would, but he was missed less than one would imagine.
The pair of 2009 Pro Bowlers were replaced by rookie Bryan McCann, and the usual underachiever Orlando Scandrick; safety Alan Ball was moved to corner in nickel packages. And surprisingly enough, all three flourished. Scandrick had arguably his best game since coming into the league in 2008, and McCann had a franchise record 101-yard interception return for a touchdown.
But the Cowboys are optimistic that the starters will be ready for next Sunday’s match-up with Detroit.
“We’re hopeful that both of those guys will be ready to come back and play against Detroit,” interim head coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “[It’s] a real credit to the defensive staff and the backup players who were able to come in and play. Obviously Bryan McCann had the big interception and played well throughout the game, I thought Orlando Scandrick played awfully well, too, and then for Alan Ball to be able to go over and play some snaps at corner was a positive thing for us.”
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