Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan says some strange things, but he might have set a new bar on Friday when he compared Mike Jenkins to Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson. Ryan spent five years as the defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders, where he coached Woodson for two seasons. Woodson is a very dynamic player who has played all positions in the secondary very well during his fourteen-year career. Ryan apparently thinks Jenkins is similar as a player.
“Jenkins has unique ability,” Ryan said. “When I had Woodson at Oakland, [he] is an All-Pro corner, but he could also do a lot of other things. I think Jenkins has those type of traits. We’re going to move him around and let him do some things that we think he’ll be really effective.”
Does that mean Jenkins might play some safety now that Dallas has a new set of cornerbacks that played well in Week 1 against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants? Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas seems to think so, telling his readers “don’t be surprised if Jenkins plays some safety.”
Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick aren’t going to miss any reps with Jenkins finally back from off-season shoulder surgery. The Cowboys have entirely too much money wrapped up in those three players to afford reducing their roles. However, Ryan insists Dallas will utilize Jenkins in some shape, form or fashion.
“Every defense could use Jenkins and so can we, so we’re going to use him,” Ryan said. “We’re going to play [him]. He’s going to be a big part of us and we’re looking forward to getting him back on a full-time basis.
Stranger things have happened, it won’t be a shock if Jenkins plays safety as Ryan has hinted at this before. However, the comparisons to Woodson need to be put on hold until Jenkins puts together some Defensive Player of the Year-type seasons like Woodson has. Coaches like Ryan should always pump up and show confidence in their players, but this one is a little farfetched…for now, at least.