As the Cowboys work to get their free agency ducks organized over the next five weeks, the most prominent decisions will involve Anthony Spencer and Laurent Robinson, two players whose contracts have run out.
After that, there are choices to be made on outside veteran free agents and the draft. And beyond that, the coast clears for a while. As the summer vacation months give way to training camp, though, discussion of the next big contract the Cowboys have to cut will inevitably begin, and this year the subject of that conversation is likely to be cornerback Mike Jenkins.
Of the Cowboys players entering the last year of their contract in 2012, Jenkins is the most prominent. Felix Jones, a fellow 2008 first-rounder, is included, but he projects as the team's No. 2 running back. Defensive end Kenyon Coleman is another starter with just a year left on his contract, but he's not in the long-term plans. Starting center Phil Costa will be a restricted free agent after 2012.
But the biggest name and best player on the list of guys who are set to be undrafted free agents in a year is Jenkins, who will turn 27 next month.
As the Cowboys attempt to rework their secondary, with only Orlando Scandrick and Gerald Sensabaugh bound to long-term deals, how big a part of the team's future plans must Jenkins be, in a league that now requires at least three good cornerbacks?
Jenkins has been up and down at different times in his career, but the "up" portions have been exceptional, including his Pro Bowl season in 2009. He had a rebound campaign in 2011 in which he eliminated a pass interference habit that had plagued him in 2010.
Should the Cowboys extend Jenkins before the 2012 season, or wait to see how it plays out?
What's a fair contract for him at this point?