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Last Time Out: 2013 Analysis Of The Cowboys CBs
(Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the DallasCowboys.com position series, here’s a look back at how each player performed last season. Today’s piece features the cornerbacks.)
Brandon Carr -- Carr’s second season with the Cowboys wasn’t as productive as his first, despite his game-clinching interception return for a touchdown to beat the Giants in Week 1. Most will remember Carr’s problems with Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, who lit up the secondary for 329 yards to help the Lions steal a win. Carr led all cornerbacks with pass deflections, picks and tackles but he had too many problems in coverage.
Orlando Scandrick -- Scandrick took the next step in his career last year in training camp when he wasn’t just one of the better performers in the secondary, but the entire team. He won the starting job from Claiborne and was one of the better players on defense. He ranked fifth with 70 tackles, second in pass breakups with 15 and was the only defensive back to record a sack, registering two.
Morris Claiborne -- He was supposed to have a breakout season in 2013, instead Claiborne lost his starting job to Scandrick and then missed six games down the stretch with a hamstring injury. His interception off Peyton Manning was the lone highlight in an injury-riddled season.
Sterling Moore -- One of the more productive players in training camp, Moore was a surprise cut before the regular season. It was even more surprising the Cowboys waited so long to re-sign him despite their CB issues. Moore played the final month of the season and was his usual, steady self.
B.W. Webb -- Even though he was a rookie from a small school, Webb didn’t have the rookie season the Cowboys were hoping for. Growing pains are always expected, but Webb didn’t flash enough of that playmaking potential.
Terrance Mitchell -- Mitchell led his team in both interceptions (five) and pass breakups (12) last season for the Ducks as junior. With seven picks in three seasons, Mitchell decided to forgo his senior year.
Dashaun Phillips -- In college, Phillips was one of the best defensive players in the Division II Lone Star Conference and is one of a few rookies to have played in AT&T Stadium twice. He finished his career with 12 interceptions as a four-year starter for Tarleton.
Tyler Patmon -- Patmon played one year at Oklahoma State, after being a three-year starter at Kansas, where he graduated early. Patmon played every game for the Cowboys in 2013 but was behind first-round pick Justin Gilbert. He still tied for the team lead with nine pass breakups.
Scout’s Take: There are several battles that are going to take place during camp, but the one to really keep an eye on is the one between Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne. Neither player appeared to give an inch during the OTA and minicamp practices. Claiborne finally looks healthy and confident to compete. Scandrick is not going to roll over and allow him to have this job. What is also interesting to watch is that these defensive coaches have not just come out and given Claiborne the job because he was once a first round selection. If he is going to start at this right corner, he is going to have to earn that job. The battles between Sterling Moore, B.W. Webb and the rookies should also have some juice in them. Of those kids, Terrance Mitchell looks the most ready to play right now, with Tyler Patmon and Dashaun Phillips boasting enough skill to take a roster spot, as well. What we need to remember from 2013 is that Moore had a really productive camp but was still put on the street. In my view, I believe they keep five of these corners with three of those spots appearing to be accounted for at this point. – Bryan Broaddus