To coach Jason Garrett, it seemed cornerback Mike Jenkins was playing almost with a smile on his face Sunday against Tampa Bay. It was a sight he loved.
“I felt really, really good about how he played, and somebody asked about relentlessness in spirit – as much as anything else, that’s what I saw from Jenks yesterday,” Garrett said Monday at Valley Ranch. “He competed really well against some good receivers, competed during the down. You could just see him hustling. You could almost see him trying with a smile on his face, which is oftentimes when guys play their best.
“He really played very passionately. The love for the game was pretty clear to me. It was clear during the game, and it was clear when we watched it on the tape, and that’s a really good sign.”
Jenkins, who spent all of training camp recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, played a season-high 31 snaps on defense. He had a tackle and a pass defensed, a high breakup of a deep pass intended for Vincent Jackson in the third quarter.
“He hasn’t played a lot of football recently,” Garrett said. “He really did a great job for us last year fighting back through an injury and playing when he was hurt a lot. He did a good job of battling back and playing in a ballgame with not that much practice time.”
Jenkins benefitted from the move of Brandon Carr to safety, which freed up snaps at cornerback. Fellow corner Orlando Scandrick was not surprised to see the performance from one of his closest friends on the team.
“We knew all along this week what we were going to do. We knew what he could do,” Scandrick said. “He’d been practicing. They just wanted to work him back into it. He looked great. ... He’s a great player. He’s mentally tough. So happy for him.”
-- Carlos Mendez