DALLAS - AUGUST 22: Cornerback Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game against the Houston Texans at Texas Stadium on August 22, 2008 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mike Jenkins caused a mini-stir of sorts in late-June, when he blogged on his website that the starting corner spot opposite Terence Newman was his to lose. “Heading into training camp I’m the starter at right cornerback,” Jenkins wrote, “and my job is to maintain that position.”
Obviously, the questions that followed were in large part concerned with Orlando Scandrick, who recorded 36 tackles and a sack as a rookie last season playing mostly in the role of slot corner. The two are now locked into, unquestionably, the most intriguing position battle in San Antonio.
Jenkins, who was drafted 25th overall by the Cowboys in 2008, has maintained that his draft position (Scandrick is a fifth rounder) has nothing to do with his supposed role as starter; he said as much--you guessed it--in his blog.
But is it possible that Scandrick isn't getting a chance? A recent article on MySanAntonio.com's Cowboys Notebook section tackles the subject, arguing that Scandrick is unhappy with the amount of snaps he's seen with the first team.
“What's the definition of a legitimate shot?," Scandrick said, when asked if he was getting a legitimate chance at the starting role. "I haven't been spoken to about that starting job. (Secondary coach Dave Campo) said just keep working and getting better.”
“I'm not here to speak on comments he made on his blog or in the newspaper, because that's just not me,” Scandrick continued. “Mike's a good friend."
In any case, if Jenkins is the sure owner of the job, it's anything but transparent in camp. The new emphasis on turnovers (that we've heard so much about) in fact, could be the deciding factor in the battle for the job. Tim MacMahon argues this point in a recent post on the DMN Cowboys blog, where he says, "five days into training camp, the competition between cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick remains too close to call."
As MacMahon points out, neither sophomore had staggering interception totals in college; however, both have made themselves ubiquitous on the turf at the Alamodome, which is good for Dallas, regardless of who ultimately wins the starting position. Scandrick, who figures at this point, at the very least, to provide Dallas with a talented backup/slot corner, is not ready to embrace such a role just yet.
“I want to start, but if that doesn't happen, what am I supposed to do?" Scandrick said. "Pout and go in the tank? No, I can't. I just have to compete and improve and then, I guess, embrace my role.”