Saturday, September 10, 2011
Orlando Scandrick gets a start
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- With Terence Newman out for Sunday's season opener at the New York Jets, Orlando Scandrick will start at one of the cornerback spots.
Who Scandrick will play with is uncertain. Mike Jenkins has battled a hyperextended knee all week and is questionable. If Jenkins is unable to play, Alan Ball will start with Scandrick.
Starting or extensive playing time is nothing new for Scandrick. He started three games last season and nine overall as he enters his fourth season.
Scandrick is also the Cowboys' third corner and with NFL offenses passing more, he normally covers wide receivers in the slot.
"We’re going to play with what we’ve got," Scandrick said earlier this week. "We’ve got some good players around here. I hope to God Mike’s alright because I was looking forward to him coming back. We’ve got to play with what we’ve got. Everybody here is here for a reason regardless of whether people believe they can play or not. I know speaking from experience sometimes you get an opportunity and you get to embrace it and you never know what could come out of it."
Coach Jason Garrett has told the team, specifically the backups, to take advantage of any opportunities presented. Scandrick has embraced that role. He was fighting for a starting job with Jenkins a few years ago but lost out on it. He's been behind Jenkins and Newman on the depth chart but is considered a starter in the eyes of some in the organization.
That's one reason Scandrick signed a five-year $27 million deal during the preseason because the Cowboys value him as a player and look at him as a starter.
He moves into that role Sunday night.
"I’m not going to sit here and not say it’s not going to be a challenge when you go against those caliber of receivers," Scandrick said. "I know me personally I’ll be ready to embrace the challenge and I have confidence that my guys will be ready to embrace the challenge. You never want to go into a game shorthanded, but there are some things you can’t control. I can control what I can control. I’m excited. I’m going to embrace the challenge, and I know all the other guys will too."