Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick said to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com this week that the position competition with rookie BW Webb “doesn’t affect him” and that the new Tampa 2 defensive scheme will give the Cowboys’ corners, including himself, a lot of chances to create big plays.
While sounding good in theory, it doesn’t mean anything if Scandrick doesn’t translate that optimism onto the field in 2013 and get results.
Throughout his career, Scandrick has primarily played the nickel for the Cowboys – aside from when the starters have gone down with injury – and has been largely a disappointment.
In 2011, the Cowboys signed Scandrick to a five-year, $27 million contract that was a head scratcher to say the least. He has never been a big play corner, tallying just three interceptions in five seasons, and has consistently gotten beat on deep routes when the game has been on the line. One particular play that sticks out is Week 17 of 2011 when the Cowboys needed a win playing at the New York Giants for the NFC East crown with a chance to get into the playoffs.
In the fourth quarter with the Cowboys trailing 21-14, the Giants were faced with a big third down. Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for a 44-yard completion down the middle, on which Cruz caught the ball over Scandrick, who was right in position to make a play on the ball.
It was really a microcosm of what Scandrick’s career has been, that is giving up big plays or being caught out of position at the times when the Cowboys could afford mental mistakes the least.
Scandrick will be battling Webb for the nickel corner position this training camp, and if he wins the battle, there will be a substantial amount of pressure on him.
Normally, you wouldn’t think that of a nickel corner. However, when a third cornerback is given $27 million – deserving or not – there is a certain pressure that comes with needing to perform up to the standards of that contract.
So far, Scandrick has failed to meet the standards.
Competition ready and not being affected by battling for his job indeed doesn’t mean anything, unless of course he produces when it counts.