A lot has been made about cornerback Orlando Scandrick’s performance in the Dallas Cowboys’ second preseason game, a loss to the San Diego Chargers. The publicity has been positive, but Scandrick’s first outing as starter was anything but. ESPN Dallas’ Tim McMahon wrote after the game that Scandrick starting could be the best thing for the Cowboys in 2011. I beg to differ.
Scandrick is not nearly ready to be a starting NFL cornerback, especially on a defense like Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s. Heck, Scandrick may not even be talented enough to be a primary cover man in the NFL. His potential as an athlete remains to be seen, but his problem between the ears is enough to have fans like Jered Hudson and myself calling for his release. Even more so, it’s easy to do that when younger guys like Bryan McCann and Mario Butler are playing so well and veterans like Alan Ball are all of sudden playing up to their potential.
McMahon’s point was Scandrick could play at least half of the defensive snaps to keep 33-year-old veteran Terence Newman rested. He spoke of Newman as a “classic corvette” that can only be driven every now and then. I won’t argue that Newman’s injury history is frustrating, but the guy can flat out play and he’s a leader. Besides that, Scandrick is not capable of starting for the Cowboys if this team wants to succeed this year. Forget trying to limit Newman’s snaps in the first place and definitely don’t think that Scandrick could be the guy to fill his shoes even if that was the case.
Last season when the Cowboys played the New York Giants at home in Week 7, Scandrick let the Giants’ third and fourth-string receivers abuse him, especially in the red zone. It got so bad that Hudson stopped following each play and just started watching Scandrick on every play. All I heard from then on was “Scandrick again”…”Gave up another catch” and the finally “Get Scandrick out of there!” I totally agreed with everything he said and Scandrick continued to prove Hudson’s point time and again the remainder of the season.
Yes, I know Scandrick was covering Chargers Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson, but he got roasted three times that were ugly. Jackson had Scandrick on the back burner glazing him with barbeque sauce while juggling with the other hand. Backup receivers have abused Scandrick like that for his entire four-year career. It’s time to let loose playmaking youngsters like McCann. For whatever reason, Ryan and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett seem to think Scandrick can eventually take the starting lineup opposite Mike Jenkins, but it just ain’t going to happen. You can say you heard it here first.