Cowboys extend Orlando Scandrick

Updated: August 25, 2011, 12:56 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick had a busy Wednesday night. He blocked a field goal attempt, picked off a pass and knocked down a few passes at Cowboys Stadium and agreed to terms on a contract extension.

Terms were not disclosed, but the five-year extension is worth $27 million with $10 million guaranteed, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

He'll get an additional $2 million this season, and an average of $5 million per season for the added years.

Scandrick finished the deal 30 minutes before the start of practice and said it was a relief.

"I had a number I wanted to get," said Scandrick, a fifth-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft from Boise State. "I wanted to be here and everything just fits. It was a great deal for me and the team. I didn't want to be greedy."

Scandrick's agent, Ron Slavin, met with Cowboys officials last weekend with the hopes of getting a new deal.

"The chip is still on my shoulder," Scandrick said. "Now I need to prove that I'm worth it."

Scandrick has started just nine of 48 games in his career and compiled just two interceptions. However, Scandrick is viewed as a valued member of the secondary, and he's currently in the starting lineup with injuries to cornerbacks Michael Jenkins and Terence Newman.

"Congrats to my boy O on his contract!" Newman tweeted.

Scandrick was entering the last year of his contract and the team felt a need to lock up one of its younger players.

"It's a humbling experience," Scandrick said. "With more money comes instant maturation. It was a weight lifted off of you. I knew this was going to happen but you don't speak until you know for sure."

Scandrick arrived in the same season Jenkins was taken in the first round. Jenkins' $3.1 million signing bonus alone was bigger than Scandrick's entire deal. The various slights, combined with a supreme confidence and strong work ethic, have fueled Scandrick ever since.

Just last week, he was angry enough to hurl a helmet. He and secondary coach Dave Campo bicker constantly.

"He's happy with me today," Campo said, laughing.

Campo tested that, making sure that Scandrick's fire will still rage now that he's in a new tax bracket.

"I just said, 'Hey, you can't lose your edge,'" Campo said. "There's a fine line between the penthouse and you know the other spot. This guy is not a 6-foot, 205-pound corner that runs a 4.3. He's not a real big guy. He's got to keep the edge, be ready to play. I think he'll do that. He's smart enough to do that."

The deal was done about a half-hour before the Cowboys took the field for a night time practice at their stadium. Word had spread to his teammates and they congratulated him.

"I felt energetic, my confidence raised," Scandrick said. "I'm not playing to not make mistakes now. Now I'm playing to make plays. I expect to have a tremendous year."

He's been a valuable nickel cornerback, covering slot receivers, and has impressed new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with his performance this training camp.

Campo said Scandrick is among the best in the league at the difficult task of covering the slot receiver.

The challenge, Campo said, is all the adjustments that have to be made within the defense depending on what they expect the offense to do. That requires lots of studying, which Scandrick does as well as anyone. Then there's the difficulty of a receiver being able to break in either direction; on the outside, cornerbacks can cheat one way or another because of the sideline.

"Some guys can do it and some guys can't," Campo said. "He's smart, tough enough and fast. That's pretty good."

He's also only 24.

"That Scandrick is a terrific player," Ryan said earlier in camp. "People want to say he's a sub guy, but this guy is really a special player. That role is very difficult. He has to be one of the smartest guys on the team and also one of the most talented. We're real fortunate. I really like Orlando. I think he should be excellent in our system."

Scandrick said he and Jenkins should make a great tandem for years to come. Perhaps it was fitting then that Jenkins went through his first contact practice in weeks, having recovered from a stinger.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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