Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins hopes to be traded before the start of the 2012 NFL season, but that’s not going to happen. If the Cowboys had any intention to get rid of Jenkins, it would have been before the 2012 NFL Draft or, at the latest, the first night of the event when Dallas traded up to draft Morris Claiborne at No. 6 overall.
Jenkins hasn’t been attending the Cowboys’ volunteer workouts at Valley Ranch and he’s already made it clear he won’t be at the organized team activities (OTAs). Jenkins has a reason to not participate in any kind of physical activity as he’s rehabbing his right shoulder, which recently required surgery. However, he’s only hurting himself by not showing up at all.
Jenkins needs help from the Cowboys’ training staff to properly rehab his shoulder. NFL staffs are specifically trained to help players recover as quickly as possible so they can get back on the field, so whatever Jenkins is doing away from Valley Ranch isn’t helping him the way the Cowboys’ training staff can.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already said Jenkins won’t be traded, but he’s obviously changed his mind before. If Jenkins was to be traded, the team to pull the trigger on such a deal would want to know he’s been actively involved in all team activities to be assured his shoulder is healed and he’s ready to play football in 2012.
If all else fails and Jenkins is still in Dallas in 2012 (and maybe beyond), then he still needs to be in football shape. Regardless of which team Jenkins is with this year or next, he needs to be healthy and on the field or he isn’t helping anyone.
Jenkins is in the last year of his contract and if he’s hoping his absence will entice the Cowboys to give him a long-term deal, he’s sadly mistaken. What team is going to sign an injured player to a new deal if he’s not even around for it to see he can still play? Jenkins undoubtedly can still play football at a relatively high level, but “holding out” of OTAs isn’t the way to earn a new deal in Dallas or anywhere else.
In short, Jenkins is only hurting himself by sitting at home. He needs to be healthy for football, whether it’s with the Cowboys or another team and the best way to do that is to get to Valley Ranch for treatment and rehab.
Get to Irving, Mike. It’s in your best interest.