Opportunity knocks for Orlando Scandrick

SAN ANTONIO – Orlando Scandrick has a chance to prove he’s right.

Scandrick believes he’s not just a slot corner. He considers himself a starting-caliber cornerback that can play the slot in the nickel and outside in the base package. It’s especially important that he convinces others of that ability, considering that he’s entering the final season of his rookie contract.

Terence Newman’s pulled groin gives Scandrick the stage, at least for the preseason.

“He is a very, very good slot defender, and those are hard to find,” secondary coach Dave Campo said. “I told him, ‘Hey, here’s an opportunity for you to go out there and do some things at corner and show us what you can do there.’ ”

It didn’t go well the last time Scandrick had this opportunity.

After a solid rookie season as the nickel corner, Wade Phillips wasn’t ready to declare a winner in Scandrick’s corner competition with Mike Jenkins, declaring that they’d alternate starts until the coaches decided on one. That didn’t take long. Scandrick’s dreadful performance in a Week 2 loss to the Giants was his lone start.

Scandrick, who declined an interview request after Thursday morning’s walkthrough, acknowledged at the time that he struggled switching from outside to the slot. That’s the plan for Scandrick as long as Newman is sidelined, which is estimated to be four to six weeks.

“It is challenging,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There’s no question about that. Corner is obviously one of the most challenging positions on the field. You just see the game from a different vantage point.”

Campo and Garrett both pointed out that Scandrick has significantly more experience than he did two seasons ago. That should make him better prepared for the dual roles.

If Scandrick proves he can handle both jobs, he’ll cash in during the offseason, whether it’s in Dallas or elsewhere.