When the Cowboys signed free agent cornerback Brandon Carr, many spoke about how improved the secondary would be as long as Mike Jenkins came back healthy in 2012. Now with the Cowboys trading up eight spots in the first round of the draft to select Morris Claiborne, some believe that Jenkins is the odd man out. There are even reports that the Cowboys have been looking to trade Jenkins in hopes of getting something for him since he becomes a free agent at the end of 2012. I think it would be a mistake to trade Jenkins at this point. He may choose to leave next off season, but for 2012 I believe he needs to be an important part of the Cowboys secondary.
When he is healthy, Jenkins is one of the top corners in the league. I understand that he has had some injuries recently, but those injuries occur because of how many times he gives up his body to make a play. Jenkins adds important depth and experience to the Cowboys secondary, which is needed for the long NFL season. He needs to be on the field helping the Cowboys. But how is that possible with the additions of Carr and Claiborne?
My question is can Jenkins play the slot position for the Cowboys? Will the Cowboys even consider that if he is not traded? I ask these questions because I believe that Orlando Scandrick is the weak link in the Cowboys secondary. From what I’ve seen over the last few seasons is that Scandrick is constantly getting beat by opposing receivers. And other times he is called for penalties because he is beaten on the play. I think it was a mistake to sign Scandrick to such a long contract extension last season. And now with Carr and Claiborne on the team it magnifies that contract mistake even more because it might come at the expense of Jenkins leaving. Jenkins can help the Cowboys defense get to the next level, but he can’t do anything if he is sitting on the bench. With his talent he can’t be the odd man out.
The Cowboys secondary can be completely transformed in 2012 and become a force in the NFC East with Carr and Claiborne starting, Jenkins in the slot and Scandrick and Mario Butler as backups. I don’t know if the Cowboys would even consider trying Jenkins in the slot, but that is how I envision the secondary for 2012 being the most effective. Jenkins is just too good to be traded and also too good to be sitting on the bench. With the NFL being a pass happy league teams need at least three quality corners that can make plays. I guess the Cowboys could have worse problems than dealing with a bunch of cornerbacks that they believe should be on the field making a difference for the team.