Is Mike Jenkins the new slot corner?
Jenkins hasn't shown up for the voluntary workouts because he's concerned with his role on the team. The Cowboys shopped Jenkins during the draft and he was seeking a trade, but it won't happen.
He's been a starter for the bulk of his time with the Cowboys and that could change based on what the franchise did this offseason.
In free agency, the Cowboys signed veteran Brandon Carr and in the draft traded up from No. 14 to No. 6 to get Morris Claiborne. It's assumed Claiborne and Carr will start with Jenkins fighting for playing time with Orlando Scandrick as the third corner.
The reality of the situation is Jenkins and Carr are the starters, unless Claiborne can overtake Jenkins for a starting role. If that's the case, Jenkins could become the slot corner, giving Scandrick a lesser role.
"He's got a whole new world to learn there," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said of Jenkins. "We're going to move him in there to compete. He's going to be all over the place like all these other defensive backs. Mike is a very talented kid, a smart kid and he's got the talent and the ability to do it. Right now, we're coaching the guys that are here."
Claiborne said he's learning how to play an outside receiver at this stage of his development. That doesn't mean he won't see time inside, yet Scandrick's size makes him the logical choice to play the slot.
Ryan wants his corners to play everywhere on the field.
"Yeah, Jerome trains them that way, so he can move them all over the place," Ryan said of secondary coach Jerome Henderson. "Right now there’s a comfort level we never really had last year. Guys are starting to understand the defense more and that way you can play them at more spots and be a better defense."
There is also this belief the Cowboys will use four cornerbacks on the field and play Scandrick in a safety/cornerback hybrid spot. Ryan said the Cowboys employ three corners a majority of the time.
"I'd say it’s over half the time in this league probably 60-65 percent of the time you play at least three corners," he said. "Sometimes you’re playing more than that. I'm excited obviously not only about our corners but the personnel we got."
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