"Missed Opportunity" For Mike Jenkins

Overall, the Cowboys have had excellent attendance at this summer's voluntary Organized Team Activity sessions, but the only extended absence has drawn more attention.

But next week, when minicamp begins and the practices are mandatory, the Cowboys expect to see cornerback Mike Jenkins to come to work.

"We anticipate seeing him back here next week," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He would not have been able to do anything physically because of his shoulder surgery, so he's not missing any on-the-field work by being in Florida. He's getting his rehab done down there. Certainly we want our players around in the meetings, understanding the new things that we're putting in, going over some of the old things from last year. So, we think that's a missed opportunity for him.

"He'll be back when he's back, and we'll get back to work with him."

While the addition of a top corner in free agency and the consensus best corner in the draft has certainly hurt Jenkins' chance for playing time, coaches say that sitting out these sessions hasn't done him any favors, either.

It's not that Jenkins will be punished for not attending, but being away has stunted his potential growth at slot cornerback, a spot he has never played for the Cowboys.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan acknowledged on Wednesday that Jenkins will battle Orlando Scandrick for snaps at the inside, "Star" position.

"He's got a whole new world to learn there," Ryan said. "We're going to move him in there to compete. He's going to be all over the place like all of these other defensive backs. Mike's a very talented kid and he's a smart kid, so I think he's got the talent and the ability to do it. But right now we're coaching the guys that are here, and Scandrick and Mario Butler are doing a nice job in there at the Star."

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