Dallas Cowboys roster finally able to withstand losses


I’ll admit it.

When I finally had a chance to sit down after a long Tuesday, I checked my phone and saw the horrible news regarding the injury to Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick and I lost it.

The first word out of my mouth was a loud expletive.

Then, no words came out out of my mouth… just a look of disbelief and sadness.  A feeling of worry even came over me.

Of all the guys who will likely make the 53-man roster for the 2015 Dallas Cowboys, I would put Scandrick in the top ten when it comes to most valuable.

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Not only is he the best cornerback on the team, he’s the defense’s version of Dez Bryant when it comes to passion, intensity and swagger.  Some things you can replace.  Intangibles like that are what makes the loss of Scandrick that much more difficult of a pill to swallow.

So, after awhile of staring into space, my mind then moved away from the initial emotion to the likely thought processes of the coaching staff.

Next man up.

Thankfully, the Cowboys roster is in a state of which it can withstand injuries and losses to key players much better than it was four or five years ago.

Think about if something like this would have happened in 2011.  If Scandrick goes down, we’re playing the season with scrubs like Alan BallBryan McCannAkwasi Owusu-Ansah and Frank Walker at corner.

Even just two years ago, the pool of options in which the Cowboys would have had to turn to would have been extremely shallow with the likes of Jakar Hamilton, Micah Pellerin and B.W. Webb providing depth.

Just in case you’re wondering, out of those seven guys, only Webb is vying for a roster spot in any team’s camp right now and he’s currently listed as a fifth-string corner which means he’ll likely be cut soon.

The cupboard was bare.

Now, however, things are much different.

Along side starting cornerback Brandon Carr, who the Cowboys wisely kept this offseason, they have a former top six draft pick, another first round draft choice and two other guys who play with the type of confidence and “chip on their shoulder” mentality necessary to be on an island in the NFL.

This isn’t to say that things will be smooth without Scandrick out on the field.  There is no doubt he will be missed.

If you want to look for the most silver (and blue) lining in all of this though, it is that the loss of Scandrick will give Morris Claiborne ample opportunity to prove one last time that he belongs on this team.

I know that the first crack at Scandrick’s main job of covering the slot will go to Tyler Patmon, but the starter opposite Carr will almost certainly be the bane of every Cowboys’ fans existence over the last four years.

This year, it appears things may finally be different for Claiborne.  After a devastating knee injury ended his season last year, it seems that things are finally start to fall into place for the once highly-touted prospect.

For the first time as a pro, Claiborne has been completely healthy throughout training camp.  That health has translated in a different mood and way of play so far.  Even the coaches, specifically position coach Jerome Henderson, have had glowing comments about him during camp.

Who knows?  Maybe the new found health and attitude will be the difference that finally puts Claiborne’s career on the right path.  It will certainly help to also know that the defense should have it’s most deep and talented pass rush to give the back field some extra help.

All of these factors help augment the loss of such a vital cog to the success of this team.  If anyone should be ready to take on the mantra of “next man up,” it’s Claiborne.

The only person more excited than me to see if this takes place is probably Claiborne himself.  I believe he is up to the challenge.  Time to go prove it.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Stars shine in loss to Vikings, 28-14