One Less Reason to Worry About the Cowboys Cornerbacks

The Cowboys offseason will result in several changes to the roster, either out of need or desire, but they shouldn't do anything to monkey with their top three cornerbacks.

Mike Jenkins had a breakout season and has stepped up into the first tier of NFL corners when it comes to coverage while Terrence Newman is a strong veteran No. 2, even if he has about as much place at the watered-down Pro Bowl as Nick Folk or Shaun Suisham.

You can never have enough good cornerbacks, though, and the Cowboys are lucky because Orlando Scandrick is proving to be up to the task as well.

Scandrick lost the battle for a starting job to Jenkins, but still turned in an excellent season for the 'Boys. His most useful skill turned out to be as a tackler. Football Outsiders compiled a list of cornerback stops -- tackles on completed passes that kept the offense from gaining 40 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third and fourth down -- and Scandrick finished second in the NFL with 19. That adds up to 45 percent of the total completions against him, third-best in the league.

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You could quibble with the amount of passes completed against Scandrick in the first place, part of what makes this a bit of a flukey stat, but if nearly half of them amount to anything more than a paper cut it is hard to get too upset. He's asked to stop the offense and the way he does it matters less than the fact that he does it. With the Eagles and Giants deep at the receiver spots and the NFL becoming more of a passing league every year, it certainly helps to have a nickel back who can make tackles when the moment calls for one.

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