ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores on a four-yard pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** DeSean Jackson;Mike Jenkins
After emerging as a Pro Bowler in 2009, his second year in the league, Cowboys’ cornerback Mike Jenkins took a large step back in 2010. Jenkins led the league in pass interference penalties this season, was regularly burned by opposing receivers for big plays, and, at his worst, appeared to want no part of tackling.
It was for this last flaw that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary coach Ray Horton--who actually won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys in 1992--said the Steelers wanted no part of Jenkins in the 2008 NFL Draft.
"I didn't want him at the time because he wouldn't tackle," Horton told ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley recently. "If you're going to play for us, you have to be able to tackle. Or you need to be picking off a lot of balls."
Jenkins had five interceptions in 2009, but just one in 2010. Paired with his occasional disinterest in tackling, Horton’s point is confirmed.
Of course, Dallas can’t go back in time to the 2008 Draft. But they can, and should, make this a prerequisite for the 2011 Draft, and each draft moving forward if they wish to experience the success the Steelers have seen of late: “If you’re going to play for us, you have to be able to tackle.”
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