In the 2008 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys decided to draft two cornerbacks to add to their roster to help bring youth to their defense. With one of their first-round picks they selected Mike Jenkins and the fifth-round pick was used to pick Orlando Scandrick.
Initially, Jenkins was the talk of the front office as the player they trusted the most and who had the most talent. With former cornerback Adam Jones dealing with suspensions and off –the-field issues, Jenkins was called on to play a bigger role in the defense. There was a battle between the two corners the next year on who would take over the starting role. After a brief rotation between both players, eventually the Cowboys stuck to Jenkins who went on to have a Pro Bowl season that year. The Cowboys loved Scandrick’s play as well and signed him to a 5 year- 32 million dollar extension, a move criticized by fans and media alike. People believed that Jenkins was the superior talent and he brought more to the table than a corner that just played the slot position.
Soon, injuries slowed down Jenkins and the Cowboys were forced to let him go in free agency and kept Scandrick as the all-important slot corner. Even as the Cowboys drafted cornerback Morris Claiborne and paid veteran corner Brandon Carr to join the team, they kept their trust in the fifth-round pick with the grouchy attitude. The attitude aside, it seems like the Cowboys were right in sticking with the young player.
It is no question that 2013 has been the best year for Scandrick, who has been called to be the starter now that Claiborne has been struggling with injuries and bad play. Teamed up with Carr, the two players form a great tandem in the secondary and Scandrick has been a bright spot for a defense decimated by injuries and stale play. Take an example from last week’s win against the New York Giants. Their top receiver and deep threat, Victor Cruz, was held to two catches and 27 yards and a fumbled forced out by Scandrick. The player that people criticized the team for paying the big money too is showing why that extension was one of the smarter moves by the front office.
In an ironic twist of fate, the Cowboys will face-off against the Oakland Raiders tomorrow, the team that Mike Jenkins calls home now. He states that the team had a personal vendetta against him and that is the reason he isn’t a Cowboy. Maybe the real reason is that the Cowboys overvalued Mike Jenkins and undervalued Orlando Scandrick. In the end, the real winner here is Scandrick, who has his money and is playing for a playoff contender.