Jenkins Injury May Be Scandrick's Opening

When the Cowboys inked slot cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a five-year contract extension worth $25 million this offseason, it was a clear signal the team viewed him as more than the No. 3 cornerback in the not-too-distant future.

After producing one of the best training camps of any Cowboys player, there was even a thought he could push for a starting job as soon as this season. With Terence Newman sidelined by a groin injury, however, Scandrick suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener, nixing his chance for the time being.

Scandrick was out until Week 6 at New England, where he performed well against Wes Welker, but the defense was playing outstanding, thanks in part to the strong play of both Newman and Jenkins, so Scandrick settled back into his role as the No. 3.

But following Jenkins' hamstring injury Sunday, which could sideline the former first round pick for up to a month, the door might have been opened again for the 24-year-old Scandrick.

While Frank Walker and Alan Ball took over for Jenkins when he went out in Philadelphia, there's a good chance Scandrick starts opposite Newman this week, when he'll have the full benefit of a week of practice and coaches can game plan to have him on the outside. Scandrick will still move inside in nickel situations.

But unlike the last time Scandrick had a shot at starting, at the beginning of 2009, he may be better able to handle cornerback duties in the base defense as well as the slot job.

Secondary coach Dave Campo said before the season he felt the fourth-year pro could now handle both.

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