- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys’ hard-line stance with Mike Jenkins should be considered progress.
They’re not letting superagent Drew Rosenhaus push them around. It was an expensive lesson to learn.
Four years ago, another Rosenhaus client under Cowboys contractual control for the upcoming season opted to train in Florida instead of joining the rest of the team at Valley Ranch for voluntary workouts. But Marion Barber’s silent protest didn’t last long, as the Cowboys caved early in OTA and gave a running back who had never been a starter a six-year, $45 million deal.
The Cowboys didn’t get much bang for their buck from Barber. He never had a 1,000-yard rushing season, and the bruising back broke down quickly, getting released a few years into his rich deal after averaging 3.3 yards per carry in an injury-plagued 2010 campaign.
Of course, you could argue that the Cowboys’ biggest mistake was misevaluating Barber, believing he could be a lead horse instead of flourishing as fresh legs off the bench. The result was paying him like a Pro Bowler when Barber didn’t have any real leverage, as a restricted free agent who had been given the highest possible tender.
Barber wasn’t the only Rosenhaus client to get a rich contract from the Cowboys that offseason. Jerry Jones also tore up the final year of Terrell Owens’ deal to give the prima donna receiver a four-year, $34 million extension, only to cut him less than a year later.
The Cowboys can afford to be patient with Jenkins, who wants the last year of his rookie deal ripped up and realizes he needs to go to another team to make that happen. They’re not counting on him to be a starter after acquiring Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, but Jenkins still has more value to the Cowboys as a reserve cornerback than as trade bait for a late-round pick.
Nothing Rosenhaus says or does can make the Cowboys change their minds, at least you’d hope.