IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have already lost four defensive starters for the season, with Bruce Carter being the latest.
The team has yet to rule out Orlando Scandrick, who technically is not a starter, but plays a significant role as the slot corner. Scandrick suffered a broken left hand and underwent surgery on Friday after the Redskins game.
He claims he can make it back before the end of the season but in the meantime the Cowboys will likely call on Mike Jenkins to replace Scandrick in the slot, a demanding position for cornerbacks, who are at the mercy of receivers using the entire field within a route.
"Technique definitely has to be perfect," Jenkins in reference to playing inside. "I've watched Orlando for the last five years so I have some hints on how to do things. I kind of mock him. But if you don't have the technique on the inside, you're going to get killed."
Jenkins has had a rough offseason and season in terms of injuries. He missed all summer with a shoulder injury that needed rotator cuff surgery, which kept him out until Week 2 of the season in Seattle. His playing time diminished even when he started to get healthier, but then Jenkins missed two games with a back injury before returning against the Redskins. He was forced into duty in the slot after Scandrick's injury.
"He hasn't played that much inside, he's played more outside." Garrett said "His role on this football team is he has to be able to play as an outside corner and as an inside guy. So it was more of an extended playing time in that spot than he's had in the past. He's a good football player. He just has to get comfortable playing in there."
Jenkins said he spent some time studying the position this summer when he was out with an injury.
"When I was out in minicamp, I was watching from the side," Jenkins said of the slot. "But it's hard on the fly. Game-time is flying around. The speed is different."
But Jenkins said he feels confident he can pick it up by this week, especially since his health is better than it's been all season.
"I feel good. I feel like I'm back," Jenkins said. "I wouldn't say 100 percent because you'll never be 100 percent. But I'm back healthy. That's my main concern."