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September 23, 2013

Scandrick appreciates the way Kiffin is using him -- like Ronde Barber

In the post-game locker room Sunday, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin stopped at Orlando Scandrick’s locker. He talked, Scandrick listened, then Scandrick talked.

Kiffin patted the cornerback’s shoulder and headed off.

Offering congratulations on a great game?

Not really, Scandrick said. Just talking football, and Scandrick expressed his appreciation for what Kiffin has done for him in just a short time with the Cowboys.

“He’s using my instincts and things to my benefit,” Scandrick said. “But there’s still a lot, so much stuff I need to work on. I’m not even close to being to the level that I can be playing at.”

Scandrick, who is being used both as an outside and a slot corner and had a sack in Sunday’s game against the Rams, wants to play at the Ronde Barber level for Kiffin. It is Barber who Scandrick noticed on all the film Kiffin would show in the offseason, and Scandrick said Kiffin is using him the same way.

“Ronde had so much production in this defense. So much, for so many years,” Scandrick said. “And if I can just get to maybe half of what he’s doing – and when you look at some of Ronde’s stats, he’s got 20 sacks, 40 interceptions. That’s phenomenal stats.”

Scandrick said is as confident in his play right now as he ever has been.

Coach Jason Garrett sees good things, too.

“He’s just a good football player,” Garrett said. “Very instinctive player. He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s explosive. He’s got long arms. He’s just got a good feel for it. He’s got good timing, and he wants to be around that football.”

Scandrick said, “I’m embracing every opportunity. Going out there just playing hard, trying to get better each week. I’m really focused this year. I don’t really know what to say. I’m really focused.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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He has been here 5,6 years. He better be learning how to play.

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