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Friday, September 14, 2012
Don't be surprised if Mike Jenkins plays some safety

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys’ cornerback corps is pretty crowded, a welcome problem after last season’s depth disaster.

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Cowboys DC Rob Ryan on how he plans on working in CB Mike Jenkins, matching up against Seattle, how he and the defense has changed over the past year and much more.

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The $50 million man (Brandon Carr) and first-round pick (Morris Claiborne) are locked in as the starters. Orlando Scandrick owns the slot job.

How do they get Mike Jenkins in the mix now that he’s finally fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery?

“Every defense could use Mike Jenkins and so can we, so we’re going to use him,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “We’re going to play Mike Jenkins. He’s going to be a big part of us and we’re looking forward to getting him back. Hopefully we get him back on a full-time basis.

“Right now we have to work him in, but to get him in game shape, get him going again, we’ll have one heck of a problem -- and that’s not a problem at all.”

One solution: Give Jenkins snaps in a safety/cornerback hybrid position in certain sub packages.

This makes sense because the Cowboys like to use Barry Church in a linebacker/safety hybrid position. They could use Jenkins instead of Mana Silva or Danny McCray at safety in those situations, putting another player with good coverage ability and ball skills on the field.

Rest assured that the idea has crossed Ryan’s mind. Don’t be surprised to see it implemented Sunday afternoon in Seattle.

“Jenkins has unique ability,” Ryan said. “When I had Charles Woodson at Oakland, Charles Woodson is an All-Pro corner but he could also do a lot of other things. I think Mike Jenkins has those type of traits.

“With Jenkins, if we are going to bring him in, we’re going to bring him in on our terms, which may not necessarily be the terms that the other team wants. We’re going to move him around and let him do some things that we think he’ll be really effective.”