Dallas Cowboys: Drew Rosenhaus

OXNARD, Calif. -- The Cowboys’ brass is optimistic that disgruntled and injured cornerback Mike Jenkins will be able to play during the preseason and are challenging him to compete when he is medically cleared.

Jenkins, who will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, did not participate in any voluntary offseason activities. He asked to be traded after the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million deal and traded up to select Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick, but the Cowboys never seriously entertained granting that request.

Jenkins had hoped to tear up the last year of his rookie contract and sign a rich new deal. Instead, he probably lost his starting job.

“I think sometimes your feelings can get hurt when a team goes and signs somebody, they draft somebody at your position,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “But then once those emotions settle a little bit, you come back and you say, ‘OK, this is my situation? What’s the best thing for me to do?’

“Typically, if you have a guy that’s a competitor, he’s going to come back and compete. That’s going to be good for him, that’s going to be good for the other guy and ultimately it’s going to be good for your football team. We’re excited to see Mike’s progress physically and hoping to get him back out here on the football field to be a contributor to our team this year.”

Asked if he could understand Jenkins’ frustration, Garrett answered that the NFL is a challenging league and further emphasized the importance of competitiveness.

“The best players, the best teams compete week in and week out, year in and year out,” Garrett said. “The best guys I’ve been around have been the best competitors. That’s what made them great players. Mike understands that. He’s competed a long time in his life. He’ll be ready to compete when he gets healthy.”

Owner/general manager Jerry Jones has attempted to sell Jenkins on the opportunity he has with the Cowboys. He pointed out that the Cowboys won Super Bowls with a deep defensive line rotation, hinting that the cornerback corps could have similar success.

“Let’s dream a little bit,” Jones said. “What if Mike can be a part of a corner group that because of the skill level (and) size could be an outstanding corner group?

“He’s a free agent. … So he could be a part of quite a story, and in doing so greatly enhance his stature as far as the NFL is concerned. We know that he’s capable physically of doing that, so my point of view would be, hey, this is a great opportunity to come in here with this kind of talent, be a part of a unit that does innovative things at that position.:

Jones continued: “On an individual basis, in my mind, he’s given himself a best chance when you look to the future. And the future could very well be under those circumstances right here with the Dallas Cowboys. We will write a check for a good football player.”

Jones said Jenkins has bought into that concept during their conversations for it. It’s wise to take that with a grain of salt, at least until Jenkins ends the silent treatment he’s given the media while agent Drew Rosenhaus tried to get the Cowboys to trade his client.

Mike Jenkins could open on PUP

June, 13, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys open training camp July 30 in Oxnard, Calif., do not look for cornerback Mike Jenkins to be on the practice field.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones joins Ben & Skin to talk about the team's culture change.

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Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Jenkins "more than likely" will start out on the physically unable to perform list.

Jenkins is recovering from major right shoulder surgery in early January. Coach Jason Garrett said Jenkins’ operation was more “complicated” than some of the other players who required shoulder surgery, like running back Felix Jones, safety Barry Church and linebackers Dan Connor and Alex Albright.

Jenkins played with a dislocated shoulder and also had a severe labrum tear. He has conducted most of his rehabilitation in Florida as he has stayed away from the voluntary offseason program and organized team activities.

Jenkins will be required to report to training camp July 25 with other injured players, rookies and quarterbacks.

If Jenkins opens camp on PUP, he would have to pass a physical before he is cleared to practice. At the end of training camp, the Cowboys would have to make a decision to activate him or place him on reserve/PUP, which would keep Jenkins out of the first six games. The Cowboys went through the same process with linebacker Bruce Carter last year.

Jones said the team has encouraged Jenkins to remain in the area after the final minicamp practice tomorrow to continue his rehab, but he is not sure the cornerback will stay.

Update: A source told ESPNDallas' Calvin Watkins Jenkins doesn't plan on staying in the Dallas area to continue his rehab.

Jenkins, who declined comment Tuesday and was not available Wednesday, is unhappy with the contract status as well as the team’s decision to trade up for Morris Claiborne and sign Brandon Carr. Through his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Jenkins requested a trade but the team has said it will not deal him.

“Glad to see him back,” Jones said of Jenkins' attendance at the mandatory minicamp. “Just need to get him healthy and get him going and obviously he can be a great help. Anytime you’ve got a guy who’s been to the Pro Bowl at cornerback in our league, you need him. Hopefully he’ll get going and get his rehab rolling and get to feeling good.”

Todd Archer's practice observations

August, 18, 2011
** QB Jon Kitna returned to practice after missing two sessions with a sore back. At one point in practice Kitna appeared to yell at the young wide receivers about getting lined up in the proper spots.

ESPN NFL analyst Ed Werder hops on The Ben & Skin Show to discuss all things Cowboys.

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** QB Tony Romo was high with several of his throws Thursday. WR Dez Bryant saved him on an out route by leaping over Chargers CB Antoine Cason and getting his feet in bounds. Romo missed Raymond Radway out wide and Kevin Ogletree on a crossing route. With it being the first outdoor practice, I wonder if the wind played a factor at all.

** Within about 30 seconds of each other, Pro Bowl tight ends Jason Witten and Antonio Gates made catches on the same out routes on different fields by running away from safeties. How many thousands of times have they done that?

** LB Bradie James intercepted a Philip Rivers’ pass down the seam. Had he not picked it off then cornerback Orlando Scandrick was in position for the turnover. DE Marcus Spears had a pressure of Rivers in team drills. James, Rivers and Spears are all represented by the same agency.

** It was a rough practice for rookie guard Pepa Letuli. He was yanked twice because of false start penalties.

**LB Orie Lemon blew up FB Dean Rogers on a run up the middle in 9-on-7 drills. Lemon sent Rogers, who outweighs him by five pounds, a good two feet back after meeting him in the hole on a lead play.

** RB Felix Jones showed a good burst around the edge on a run in 9-on-7 drills but he was only able to get there after TE Jason Witten did a good job of hooking LB Stephen Cooper to the inside.

** Former Cowboys offensive line coach Tony Wise was on the sidelines during practice talking with Nate Newton and Larry Allen. Wise, who coached with Dave Wannstedt at Pitt, is just visiting with two of the teams he knows best. He and Norv Turner were on Wannstedt’s Miami Dolphins staff, too.

** Romo’s best throw of the morning might have been on a wheel route to RB Lonyae Miller down the sideline just over the reach of ILB Donald Butler.

** Agent Drew Rosenhaus was at Thursday’s practice, though he spent most of his time on the phone talking about Terrelle Pryor’s future workout. Rosenhaus represents Mike Jenkins, Chris Gronkowski, Kevin Ogletree and Sam Young on the Cowboys’ roster.

Plaxico Burress, Cowboys not a match

June, 7, 2011
IRVING -- Drew Rosenhaus believes Plaxico Burress will be a highly sought after free agent, and if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about Rosenhaus over the last 14 years, it's that he knows how to create a market.

So consider this the Burress-to-the-Cowboys blog post of the day and why I don’t see it happening even if Jerry Jones loves taking low-risk chances like these.

Just to play along with a premise I already shot down, the only way this would happen is if there is no salary cap in 2011. There is no way the Cowboys would add Burress to a group of Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, et al, without being able to rid themselves of Williams’ contract.

Without a cap, it would cost nothing to cut Williams. If there is a cap, Williams counts an extra $3.9 million if they cut him. Add to that the contract Burress would receive -- he will get more than the minimum from some team -- and it would not make business sense.

But let’s look at it from a football perspective, too.

What Burress does well meshes with any offense, provided the time away from football hasn’t eroded his skills. He is big. He is fast enough. He can go up and get the ball in traffic to make a quarterback look good. He is a big red-zone threat.

In other words, what he does well, Bryant already does extremely well if not better than Burress.

There would be no need to double up on the skill set while also bringing in the circus that will follow Burress wherever he signs, especially after Jason Garrett has talked about getting the right kind of guy in a Dallas uniform.

Why would a team trade for Barber?

March, 30, 2010
The rumor mill, cranked by an NFL Network report, is buzzing about Marion Barber being available on the trade market.

The Cowboys’ decision-makers (Jerry and Stephen Jones) firmly declared at the scouting combine that they expected the team’s three tailbacks to all return next season, but they’d be foolish not to entertain trade offers for Barber. The problem is that another team would be foolish to trade for a back who is paid like a superstar but doesn’t perform like one.

Barber and superagent Drew Rosenhaus parlayed his lone Pro Bowl season, when he wasn’t even a starter, into a seven-year, $45 million contract. Barber is owed almost $8 million in a roster bonus and salary this season and a little over $23 million for the remaining four years on the deal.

Do you really believe a team will exchange a valuable pick (or picks) for the right to pay that much for a back who has never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season?

That’s not to say that Barber’s days as a productive committee back are done. If the Cowboys cut him, which would be a stunner this offseason, Rosenhaus would surely be able to get several other teams in on the bidding for Barber.

But it’s highly unlikely that Barber, a bruising back who has worn down as a starter the last two seasons, could get a contract similar to his current deal on the open market.

As far as the Cowboys convincing another team to give up picks to inherit that contract? There’s a better chance that Barber, never known for his speed, will break an 80-yard touchdown in next season’s opener.