Perhaps it was a misdirection play, designed to discourage teams with the 10th picks or later in the NFL Draft to not attempt to trade up.
When Jerry Jones made the statement earlier in the week at the Senior Bowl practices here, there was no protrusion on either cheek. His tongue appeared to be in place and he appeared to be sincere.
But it is true that with tape recorders running, the Dallas Cowboys owner said, “Frankly our corners -- if you compare us to other teams across the league -- we’re in good shape at corner.”
That was a rather startling statement about Cowboys cornerbacks. Terence Newman had his good moments during the 2010 season -- particularly in the last three games when he had three interceptions.
But Mike Jenkins struggled throughout the year with key penalties. After intercepting five passes and making the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season, Jenkins had one interception and simply had an off-year.
Orlando Scandrick was effective off the bench but he is a good fit in the role of third cornerback.
On a national conference call Wednesday, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. pulled no punches when asked what he thought Dallas might do with the No. 9 pick in the April draft.
“They have got to hope that Prince Amukamara is there,” Kiper said. “That’s a critical need for the Cowboys.”
Amukamara, 6-1, 205, from Nebraska is the second-rated cornerback in the draft behind Patrick Peterson of LSU. Several teams picking ahead of the Cowboys also need cornerbacks, but also have other needs. Some early projections have Amukamara available at No. 9.
After saying he was OK with his cornerbacks, however, Jones did say: “That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t look at a corner.”
It’s safe to say that if the Cowboys look back at tape of some of their cornerback play last season, they will be looking very hard to improve the cornerback position.
-- Jan Hubbard