When the Dallas Cowboys selected cornerback Mike Jenkins in the 2008 draft, they felt they were getting a possible shutdown corner. More importantly though, they were getting a good prospect at a position they desperately needed help at. Five years and one Pro Bowl later, Jenkins’ time in Dallas looks like it has come to an end. Jenkins spoke to reporters about his time in Dallas and according to ESPNDallas.com he shed some light about his future.
“Do I want to come back?” Jenkins asked. “I’ve grown attached, I’ve been here for five years, I’ve grown attached to everybody here. It’s hard to just get up and leave and not want to come back. At the same time ,you want to go somewhere and have a fair opportunity and I guess go on from there.”
It appears as though Jenkins wants to go somewhere he’ll have more of an opportunity to play and that isn’t likely in Dallas. The Cowboys have invested in three cornerbacks in the past two years and there is only so much money you can allocate to one position. Jenkins’ future could have been predicted last off-season when the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr and drafted Morris Claiborne. They became the starters at cornerback and when Jenkins made the decision to rehab his shoulder away from the team, the writing was on the wall. There were also rumors of Jenkins requesting to be traded, although he denied making that request.
The Cowboys have three cornerbacks they like in Carr, Clairborne and slot corner Orlando Scandrick but I still believe letting Jenkins walk away without trying to sign him is a mistake. Dallas, as much as any team in the league knows, you can never have too many corners. The way the rules are geared toward the offense, there is more of a need for good corners now more than ever. Saying goodbye to Jenkins without trying to re-sign him would be a mistake for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys should try to work out a short deal with Jenkins and try to get him back into the fold before allowing him to test the free agency waters. Of course that is easier said than done because of the money Jenkins reportedly wants and because of his desire for more playing time. However, the Cowboys at least find out what the parameters are for keeping Jenkins because losing a good corner is very hard to replace. If Jenkins is let go the Cowboys will once again be searching for cornerback help.
The Cowboys may very well lose Mike Jenkins to free agency but they should try to do anything they can, within reason, to keep him. Otherwise the never ending loop for help in the secondary will continue. It would also add to the list of needs in the off-season for a Cowboys team that already has plenty of work to do in the next six months.
Mike Jenkins can still help the Dallas Cowboys, unfortunately, he’ll probably be helping someone else next year.
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