Cowboys veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick says he will return to practice today after suffering a broken hand in Week One, a great sign for his availability for Monday Night Football. Dallas needs Scandrick on the field in any game, but especially now with other injury concerns at the CB position.
Scandrick addressed his condition in a locker room interview yesterday:
“I’m not wearing any sort of a cast. I don’t have any limitations,” he said. “I’m going to protect the joint. It’s fixed now and it’s something I can play through until it heals. I don’t think I’ll have any limitations and I’ll be perfectly fine.”
Last week in Denver, Nolan Carroll (concussion) and Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) both had to leave the game in the first half. With Scandrick already out that left the Cowboys with just Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis to play corner. Dallas certainly had other issues against the Broncos that led to the 42-17 blowout loss, but their depleted secondary was no small factor.
This week’s opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, don’t lack for quality receivers. Ageless wonder Larry Fitzgerald is backed by J.J. Nelson, who is the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week, and veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham. While not quite Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, these guys could still be trouble for the young and not-yet-cohesive Cowboys secondary.
We will know a lot more about Carroll and Awuzie’s statuses when the Cowboys resume practice today. Even if they are active, though, Orlando Scandrick’s return is big for the Cowboys defensive backs. Aside from just being their best CB, he is a leader and stabilizing presence. He won’t be phased by the prospect of lining up across from a first-ballot Hall of Fame receiver like Fitzgerald.
While they are also 1-1, Arizona has had a bad start to 2017. Their victory was an overtime win over the hapless Indianapolis Colts, maybe the worst team in the NFL. Quarterback Carson Palmer has especially struggled, completing only 54% of his passes and already throwing four interceptions in two games. Hopefully those struggles will continue.
The Cowboys need a soft landing after falling at Mile High. Hopefully, the combination of a struggling Cardinals team and the return of players like Orlando Scandrick and Damontre Moore help them to get 2017 back on track.