Random Thoughts: Mike Jenkins earning his time
- As we head into the bye week, we're hearing nothing negative about the play of cornerback Mike Jenkins. It's funny how several people thought Jenkins was a terrible corner in 2011. He was a Pro Bowler who just so happened to be the team's best cornerback last season. Jenkins didn't get enough credit for playing through numerous injuries last year; it appears he could barely tackle the last half of the season with a shoulder injury that took nearly eight hours to repair during surgery. Jenkins is playing free safety, cornerback and special teams with no complaints. (He played 15 snaps at free safety against Chicago on Monday.) All he does is play, and while that might not be enough to get a new contract from the Cowboys, it will merit him a new deal somewhere else.
- The best run on Monday night game came from an unlikely source: Felix Jones. He made a nice little cut and then burst through the line for a 13-yard gain. This is not to say DeMarco Murray should get benched or get fewer carries, but if Jones is your change-of-pace back, then give him some carries at least. Maybe Jones is in better condition now, and that run against the Bears is a sign of things to come.
- Dez Bryant is a talented receiver but still not polished, and this is where quarterback Tony Romo and coach Jason Garrett enter the picture. Garrett has to put Bryant in better situations to succeed. If you don't trust that Bryant can make sight adjustments on the field, then stop going his way. Romo has confidence in Bryant but after a miscue on Monday night in which he threw a pick to Charles Tilliman, it begs a question: Would Romo do it again? Better yet, should Romo stop looking at Bryant if an adjustment needs to be made? Bryant is smart enough to know an adjustment is needed if the defense makes a coverage change. But he's just not consistent enough.
- Inside linebacker Dan Connor had 14 defensive snaps in the loss to the Bears and didn't record a tackle. Why do we care? With Bruce Carter out nursing a hip pointer (he did record three tackles), it gave Connor a chance to make a few plays. He was near the ball, but it's clear why Carter is the starter and Connor gets more snaps on special teams. Carter is strong against the run, quick and fast to the ball and is good against the pass, through he will have a few lapses. Carter's becoming an all-around player, and that's giving him more full-time consideration over Connor.
- The 52 defensive snaps by outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware were his second-lowest totals of the season. In Week 1, he played 50 snaps, missing just five plays. Ware hasn't played every snap this season because he gets tired and needs a break with his hamstrings issues. The Cowboys have to be delicate with Ware given his health. They need Ware on the field, but there are times he sits out a few plays with good reason. But down the stretch the Cowboys are going to need their best defender fresh, and this upcoming stretch of games, four of five on the road, could determine if December will mean anything for the Cowboys.
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Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Jerry Jones' recent comments, Cowboys OTAs, Dez Bryant and more.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.