Ellis: Jenkins Saga Overkill A Good Sign

IRVING, Texas -As the official website of the Dallas Cowboys, we don't have a lot of other options than to make a big deal of it if this team's fullback gets stung by ants, or the tight ends coach hurt his ankle running a 5K.

All we cover, even in the slowest part of the year, is the Cowboys. So to us, this Mike Jenkins thing seems like a big blanking deal, to paraphrase both the real-life and cable television Vice President.

When a player who has apparently asked to be traded and has been skipping Organized Team Activities (OTAs) makes his first appearance at Valley Ranch in months, it's go time for us.

So yeah, we rolled out a camera to film him walking into the building, like he was Snookie walking into the courthouse.

And yeah, with Twitter apps in hand, we Eagle-eyed him while he jogged around the field, his only physical exertion during practice.

We were there for Jerry Jones' and Jason Garrett's respective inquisitions, as the two were peppered with Jenkins questions one after the other. Of course we were in the pack of no less than 30 reporters and cameras swarming Jenkins at his locker, only to come away with no comment.

At some point, though, even those of us at DallasCowboys.com have to put this story in perspective: Mike Jenkins is probably going to be this team's third or fourth cornerback.

It has to be a good thing that *this *story is the biggest point of concern or drama that has surrounded the Cowboys this offseason.

This isn't the All-Pro quarterback holding out, like in New Orleans. This isn't anything like New Orleans' offseason, actually.

This isn't the first-round pick getting a DUI, like in Jacksonville.

This isn't a player sucker-punching a teammate, like in Detroit.

No, again, this has been the third or fourth cornerback - albeit a pretty good third or fourth cornerback - deciding to take off voluntary practices that he wouldn't even be able to participate in because he's recovering from shoulder surgery.

What do voluntary mean, after all?

When Jenkins finally had to be here, he was. He might not have had a lot to say to the media, but he's speaking to the owner/general manager. He's speaking to his head coach. He's speaking to his position coach, and his teammates.

Jenkins has made one Pro Bowl, as an alternate, in an otherwise fairly nondescript four-year career. He is not Darrelle Revis. And yet the head coach's press conference was as frenzied on Tuesday as the one a day after Pacman Jones slugged his team-appointed bodyguard at a Dallas nightclub.

Give Garrett credit for stifling the madness with some context.

"We can keep talking about Mike Jenkins all day long, and we can try the questions a lot of different ways," Garrett said. "Now he's back in our building and we're going to coach him. He's going to be a part of our football team. We see that he's going to have a role on our football team. He's done some good things for our football team in the past few years. We anticipate him getting back healthy and being a part of what we're doing this year.

"We're focused on the players who are here throughout our offseason. They've done a great job. Now Mike's back, and we're focused on his development as well."

Focused. That's a good way to describe this offseason, when the only slightly juicy storyline hasn't been a true distraction for 89 out of the 90 players on the roster, and the one guy affected is a role player, not a cornerstone.

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