After Travis Frederick started our Cowboys on the Clock series, leading us to April 28th and the NFL Draft, it has been nothing but defensive players for the past three days.
We came back from back-to-back Beyond the Clock posts on Thursday with Larry Bethea, and then took a look at Byron Jones the following day. Yesterday, we left off with Anthony Spencer, and the defensive player streak now continues today with the 2008 first round selection of the Dallas Cowboys.
With the 25th overall pick, they selected defensive back Mike Jenkins. Let’s take a look back at his time in the silver and blue…
Jenkins filled up the stat sheets in his college days at South Florida, ending his Big East football career with 133 tackles, 47 passes defended (a school record), 6 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles.
Coming off a 13-3 season, the Cowboys moved up to the 25th pick via a trade with the Seattle Seahawks in the first round. Having already selected Felix Jones at #22, the addition of Jenkins with this pick had Cowboys Nation buzzing.
Jenkins would join the likes of Terence Newman, Ken Hamlin, and Roy Williams in the secondary during his rookie year in 2008, starting 3 games as a slot corner and recording his first career interception – which was returned for a touchdown at the Giants in week 9.
Selected 118 picks after Jenkins in the same draft, Orlando Scandrick would compete for the starting job with Mike in the following 2009 season. Both players would wind up seeing significant time on the field, as Scandrick found a home starting at slot corner while Jenkins won the job for outside corner – going on to intercept 5 passes and be named to the Pro Bowl.
Dallas made the playoffs for the first time in Jenkins’ career, but it was Brett Favre and the Vikings that would manhandle the Cowboys secondary in the Divisional Playoffs to end Dallas’ season. Favre’s four touchdowns, two of which came against the coverage of Jenkins, sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship game with a 34-3 win.
Jenkins would go on to start a full 16 games for the first time in his career in 2010 before his career took a turn for the worse. Injuries began to bug the Cowboys’ defender, as he missed the entire 2011 preseason. Even still, he was able to battle and lead the team in passes defended with 10 in just 12 starts that year.
Entering the 2012 Draft, the Cowboys knew that they had to begin to think about adding depth behind Jenkins in the secondary. He was entering the last year of his rookie deal, with the injury concerns still looming.
The team did just that, moving up to #6 overall to select Morris Claiborne. Brandon Carr was also signed from the Kansas City Chiefs that off season. Jenkins had been a big part of the Cowboys defense over the previous seasons, but the Cowboys commitment to bring in reinforcements at his position caused him to skip out on off season activities.
While he was rehabbing another injury, Jenkins was also unhappy with his situation in Dallas, and started just 3 games in 2012 – his final season with the team. Carr and Claiborne took over as starters, with Orlando Scandrick still in place, and those three defenders still make up the Cowboys core of corners entering 2016.
Jenkins, meanwhile, started 5 games for Tampa Bay in 2015. It was his second year with the team, after he spent 2013 with the Oakland Raiders.
The following players have also been selected with the 25th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys:
Tody Smith, 1971, DE
Smith spent just two short seasons as a Cowboy, but won Super Bowl VI with the team over the Dolphins.
Rod Hill, 1982, DB
Hill did a little bit of everything, both good and bad, for the Cowboys in his two years with the team. When on the field, he found a home mostly at the nickel corner position – but also was a key special teams player and kick returner.
Billy Cannon, 1984, LB
Cannon was forced to retire just 8 games into his rookie season after a scary injury suffered against the New Orleans Saints that caused serious damage to two vertebrae in his neck.
Tomorrow on Cowboys on the Clock: 2010 first round pick Dez Bryant
Until then, be sure to get caught up with the entire series right here on Inside the Star, and share your thoughts about Cowboys on the Clock with a comment below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org!