By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Arlington _ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is apparently making the most of his time in the starting lineup in place of the injured Terence Newman, who is out until at least the season opener with a strained groin.
According to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Scandrick is having as good a camp as any defender, raising the possibility of him keeping the job even when Newman returns.
Ryan wouldn't go that far, saying he feels the Cowboys have three starters in Scandrick, Newman and Mike Jenkins.
"Scandrick’s been doing great all camp," Ryan said. "He’s had one of the better camps than anybody I think. He’s a confident guy. He’s doing well. He’s covering well. He’s taken the challenge. He’s playing two positions really for us. He’s doing an excellent job. In my opinion, we have three starting corners and that’s the way it’s going to be. The way people attack you on offense, that’s how it is. You’ve got to have three, maybe four, starting corners. I don’t give a crap about that. I want our guys healthy and ready to go and we’ll be fine."
The title of starter, however, is important to Scandrick who has been the team's nickel corner the past three seasons.
He is in the last year of his contract and understands that his future income will be judged on whether he's considered a starting caliber cornerback.
Scandrick certainly sees this as an opportunity to prove he can be a starter on the outside next season if not this year for the Cowboys. And if not in Dallas, then somewhere else. He would prefer to remain with the Cowboys and there will likely be an opening in 2012.
It is unlikely that the Cowboys bring Newman back next season because of his age, salary and injury history.
None of this is lost on Scandrick who says he doesn’t block out the business part of the game.
"I don’t because this is a business. This is my job, it's not a game," he said. "This is how I feed my family [and] this is how my family survives. I think it’s a great opportunity for me and I just want to make the best of my opportunity."
Clarence E. Hill Jr.