Henderson Reaches Out To CB Jenkins

For all their moves this offseason, the Cowboys have reshuffled the deck most significantly in the secondary.

Gone are coaches Dave Campo and Brett Maxie, as well as two starters, Terence Newman and Abe Elam, and two veteran backups, Alan Ball and Frank Walker. Jerome Henderson has taken over as defensive backs coach, along with his assistant, Joe Baker, and the team signed a big-money free agent, Brandon Carr.

For cornerback holdovers Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick, it appeared things would remain fairly ordinary. The Cowboys' selection of Morris Claiborne has changed things again, however.

It looks like Scandrick will keep his role of slot cornerback, particularly considering the five-year commitment the Cowboys made to him last summer.

But for Jenkins, a starter since 2009, the addition of Claiborne is a bit of a game-changer. If the No. 6 overall pick claims a starting job opposite Carr, as expected, Jenkins could go from being the Cowboys' best cornerback last season to the fourth guy on the depth chart.

Assuming the Cowboys don't decide to trade Jenkins, who has a year left on his contract, it may take him some time to come to terms with his role.

To that end, Henderson has already offered some words of encouragement for the 27-year-old, who has been in Florida rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery on his own.

"I'll keep that conversation between Mike and I," Henderson said. "It was a personal conversation, and it was me speaking to him as both a coach and also a guy who played in the league and has been through some things.

"We had a real good conversation."

Henderson, who played eight seasons in the NFL with five different teams, believes one of his best assets as a coach is the ability to relate to his players, whatever their career situation.

"I tell guys the benefit of me is I've been every guy in the room," Henderson said. "I've been a high pick; I've been a second-round pick with great expectations. I've been a guy come in as the starter. I've been the guys fighting and scratching to make the roster. So, I've been every guy. I played corner, I played nickel, and I think I can relate where most guys are, and can reach them on their level. I think that's one of my strengths."

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