As the adage goes, a team can never have too many good cornerbacks. But there might be such a thing as having too many corners on the field at the same time.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has suggested the Cowboys' personnel logjam at the position gives defensive coordinator Rob Ryan the opportunity to get creative.
Keeping Mike Jenkins in the fold along with Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick is more than just good insurance against injuries, according to Jones, who wants to see all four on the field together in some packages.
But it sounds like the real advantage to having such depth is to keep everyone fresh.
"We're not going to be long in numbers, in my view, with the way we plan on using these corners," Jones said. "We're going to need them . . . and have a concept that they're writing about the way they do the rotation of the defensive linemen with the Giants."
Already loaded with pass-rushers, New York made Jason Pierre-Paul its first pick in 2010, and went on to win the Super Bowl only a year later, with a host of rushers making plays. Likewise, despite having three corners they like, the Cowboys went ahead and traded up for Claiborne in April.
Because the Cowboys have a good pass rush themselves, teams only seldom deploy four wide receivers on the field at the same time against them. The more tight ends in the offense's package, the more compromised the defense would be with extra corners.
"We've done that before," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "It takes a unique corner to be able to cover a tight end man-to-man, so there's a spot for that, but obviously everybody is looking for safeties these days that can do both against teams like New England. It's just another matchup thing that you can have if you've got four good corners."
To play the top four corners together, the Cowboys would have to be comfortable with one of them lining up at safety.
"I don't know if we'll do that," Ryan said. "If we ever get in a need to play all those guys, we could do that certainly, and they have good skill sets where I'm sure they could matchup against a tight end - a smaller tight end - it's just if that need ever shows up, then you can definitely play those four guys."