- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – The first time Mike Jenkins played slot cornerback in his life came on Thanksgiving against Washington. His second comes Sunday against Philadelphia with Orlando Scandrick all but done for the season because of hand surgery.
Jenkins mentioned the difference in the speed of the game while playing inside compared to his work on the outside.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan believes Jenkins is ready to play well. The absence of DeSean Jackson will help Jenkins against the Eagles, too.
“He really hasn’t played it but he’s got excellent feet, he’s smart, he competes, he likes to play, so we’re excited about Jenkins in there,” Ryan said. “We’re real fortunate to have him where most teams don’t. Last week, he had never worked in there so when Scandrick got hurt it was pretty tough on us. Obviously it looked that way. We have to have answers quicker than we did but Mike Jenkins has had a great week of practice. I think he’s excited for challenge of it and I think he’ll be up to it. I know he will.”
If Jenkins is up to it, then he will add value to his free-agent status. Jenkins’ contract year has not gone well, starting with offseason shoulder surgery and the Cowboys’ decisions to add Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. He won’t exactly be able to name his price in March, but if he shows some versatility to his resume that will help.
“The old saying, ‘Can’t never did anything, can’t never will. I can’t play in the slot.’ Well he can,” Ryan said. “He’s an excellent payer. He makes himself more valuable as he’s gone in there. Now he’s going to have great success this week and that will be even better for … The more you can do the better. It’s like Alex Albright playing inside backer, D-line and outside backer. Kyle Wilber’s now playing outside backer and inside. These guys are only increasing their value to the team and also their role for the team.”