Can Orlando Scandrick be a starter?

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
10:03
AM ET
Yeah, that's right. The ESPNDallas.com position series makes a stop today at cornerback, which is a position of extreme need for the Dallas Cowboys. As Tim MacMahon writes, Terence Newman is a sure thing to be cut, and the fact that the Cowboys gave Orlando Scandrick a contract extension during the 2011 season indicates that maybe they're thinking about making him the starter opposite Mike Jenkins. Tim doesn't think that'd be wise:
The Cowboys cannot make the mistake of just handing Scandrick a starting role just because he's paid at that level. He hasn't done anything to prove he's capable of being anything more than a nickelback. Acquiring a cornerback to pair with Jenkins should be one of the Cowboys’ top priorities.

Agreed on all points. In fact, given Jenkins' injury issues, it might not be a bad idea for the Cowboys to sign a free-agent corner and draft one in the first round, assuming they address the pass rush and the offensive line in free agency somehow. They've poked around on Stanford Routt, who's visited several teams but has yet to sign with one after being released by the Raiders this month for contract reasons. And they should be players in the markets for Brandon Carr, Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan.

It is simply imperative that the Cowboys find a Newman replacement over whom the Giants' fullbacks can't jump, and pieces that deepen the depth chart so that Scandrick can remain the nickel corner and an occasional injury fill-in for one of the starters. That's his role, and he needs to get better at it before he deserves to be a starter himself.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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