The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a six-year, $28.2 million contract back in 2011. Now, the team bolsters the starting cornerback talent of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, making Scandrick a luxury and one of the highest paid slot-corners in the NFL. But after an incident involving an official in practice last weekend, could the six-year veteran’s days in Dallas be numbered?
Jul 22, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
During the Cowboys practice on Sunday, Scandrick made a play towards the sidelines and made contact with the head linesman in the process. After that initial contact, Scandrick then shoved the official resulting in a personal foul penalty. If this incident would have happened during an actual game, he would have been ejected and most likely fined and/or suspended by the NFL for his actions. The head linesman himself said he was unsure if the contact was intentional, but the rules are fairly clear concerning contact with officials.
NFL Rulebook, Rule 12 – Player Conduct, Section 3 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Article 1: Prohibited Acts states:
"“There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others: (g) Unnecessary physical contact with a game official. Note 1: Under no condition is an official to allow a player to shove, push, or strike him in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner. Any such action must be reported to the Commissioner. Any violation of (g) above may result in disqualification and also will include discipline by the Commissioner. An official must see the entire action for a player to be disqualified.”"
Scandrick told ESPNDallas.com that he realized his mistake and simply let his emotions get out of control.
"“It’s not a big deal. It was just frustration. I was pursuing the ball and it was frustration. He tried to like brace me. In frustration, I kind of pushed him out of my way….It can’t happen. Nobody needs to address it. I know what happens in this league and what can happen.”"
Head coach Jason Garrett said him and new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin would decide whether or not to address the issue with Scandrick after watching the practice film.
Still, Scandrick should be more careful about making waves right now. Especially considering that their front office is currently researching various trade opportunities due to their ailing offensive line. Forbes has listed Scandrick as the ninth most overpaid player in the entire NFL. As such, the Cowboys might feel Scandrick is expendable. And with Scandrick’s history of inconsistent play, large price tag and this latest incident, his days in “Big D” might soon come to an end.
What helps Scandrick is the Cowboy’s commitment to keeping quality corners on the team. In the past, the Dallas front office has mentioned that their philosophy is simply: “You can never have enough cornerbacks.” Also aiding Scandrick’s situation is the recent rough play of rookie corner B.W. Webb. Webb muffed a punt return against the Oakland Raiders last Friday that resulted in a turnover and ultimately cost the Cowboys the game. If the rookie was playing at a higher level, the option of replacing Scandrick would be a much more plausible scenario.
Still, the possibility of a move remains. Scandrick’s current contract doesn’t ends until 2017. Next season, he is scheduled to make $3.5 million. Then his salary increases to $5 million per year for the following two seasons. That’s a lot of money for a corner who was ranked 43rd in the league last year by Pro Football Focus. With that much money on the line, and the Cowboys salary cap issues, moving Scandrick is something the Dallas front office will need to explore sooner or later.