IRVING, Texas – Cornerback Mike Jenkins listed nothing but positive remembrances of his time with the Cowboys – until one unexpected, unprovoked comment.
Jenkins said he had a great run in Dallas and it was a pleasure being with his teammates while playing for the Cowboys from 2008-12, but soon after he briefly referred to a personal vendetta with the organization.
The defensive back made the Pro Bowl in 2009, before injuries halted his time in Dallas and the Cowboys decided to move on after the 2012 season. Jenkins missed four games in 2011 and a shoulder injury kept him out of three games in 2012, but he's managed to stay healthy and play in all 11 games of the Raiders' season this year.
"My swagger and my confidence never left," Jenkins said. "My last few years in Dallas had nothing to do with swagger. It was more of a personal vendetta that was going on around there, and I don't care too much to talk about it."
He only had one other comment about that vendetta. [embedded_ad]
"It was personal," Jenkins said. "I don't care too much to talk about it. It had nothing to do with what was going on on the field or with swagger or anything like that. Like I said, I'm past that. I'm a year out of that franchise. Me talking about them, bringing up old stuff, I don't see the point of bringing up old fire.
"There's nothing like that for me to even be talking about. If you want to talk about anything, you talk about the team I'm on right now. I'm not a Dallas Cowboy, so it's kind of pointless for me to talk about those guys."
Jenkins said he's moved on now from his time with the Cowboys, and he also said there's no love lost despite his previous comments. He did, however, initially think he'd be making Dallas his long-time home as a former first-round pick.
"When you first come in, you're their draft pick, just being around for so long, I was there for five years, you kind of get that feeling that you want to make this your home," Jenkins said. "I had a house out there when I first came out, I had a spot out there, my family was out there, of course I made it home. I wanted it to be a long-term deal, but unfortunately plans didn't go that way so you have to go through adversity and that's what I did. I'm happy where I'm at."
Jenkins already has 55 combined tackles this year and is on pace for a career year in that category. He also has one interception.
"My game's changed because I'm back on the field," Jenkins said. "I'm playing for somebody who actually lets me go out and do what I want to do and has faith in me. That's what I love about this organization. These guys, they let me do what I do. This is my field, this is my side, this is mine."
Here's more from Jenkins on his health, his relationship with the Cowboys and his positive opinion of quarterback Tony Romo:
- Whatever the "personal vendetta" was with the team, it had nothing to do with his teammates in Dallas. Jenkins said it's going to be great to see those guys before the game and that he loves them like brothers.
"When I see them, it's just like we never missed a step," Jenkins said. "I used to go at it with these boys in practice. It's going to be fun getting back out there, getting out there seeing them in the pregame. But in between the clock, it's going to be a straight battle. They know what it's going to be, and I know what it's going to be."
- Jenkins isn't among the many to criticize Romo. In fact, he went as far as to say the Cowboys' quarterback taught him the game and that everything he sees from Romo "is beautiful."
"I think Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the league," Jenkins said. "There's a lot of guys outside the franchise who have their own opinions on him or bring up interceptions or bring up bad decisions, whatever it may be that's written. I disagree with a lot of that stuff because I know what type of guy he is on the field."
- The corner didn't elaborate much on his shoulder injury from 2012 other than stating that it was pretty bad. He said he's moved on with his life and that it's pointless to look back. As for his health now, he said he feels great and has his body back right.
- Jenkins also has a few of his former Cowboys teammates now as current teammates with the Raiders, including Andre Gurode, Kevin Burnett, Andre Holmes and Jamize Olawale.
"Definitely it was good when those guys came in," Jenkins said. "We all have old stories and that was a blessing for us to even be together in Dallas. It's cool to just go around the league and those are some guys that you played with. You build a friendship and a relationship with those guys more than anything when you're on different teams and it's kind of cool when you can go somewhere else and still have that same camaraderie."