The Dallas Cowboys are just two games into their 2016 season and unfortunately there are several players not living up to the teams, fans, or even their own expectations. It's sad I know, but unfortunately factual.
This is especially true for arguably the Cowboys best cornerback, Orlando Scandrick.
If you are anything like me, then you were really looking forward to seeing Scandrick back on the field this year after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL and MCL knee injury.
Personally, I was so excited about Orlando Scandrick's return that I wrote an article back in May about how I thought he would be the key to success for the Cowboys defense.
Unfortunately, things haven't quite gone Scandrick's way so far in 2016. So much so that he looks like a shadow of his former self.
Now, I'm not saying that he is starting to decline as a player, although that may be happening. What I am saying is that he doesn't look nearly like the player the he did prior to his 2015 knee injury.
Scandrick's problems on the field this year mostly have to do with the reoccurring injuries that he has been battling through.
We saw him leave the game briefly in Week 1 against the New York Giants with a tweaked hamstring, only to return a little later and play through the injury.
Despite the lingering effects of a tweaked hamstring, he still managed to battle through the discomfort and help his team beat the division rival Washington Redskins, thus helping the Dallas Cowboys avoid a 0-2 start.
Unfortunately, the word on the street is that Orlando Scandrick has not practiced all week and is dealing with not one, but two strained hamstrings. Double Whammy Hammy!?
This is definitely concerning news considering a CB depends on their speed and change of direction abilities to cover wide receivers all over the field in the NFL.
Quarterbacks at this level are a lot like sharks, and if they smell blood in the water they know exactly where to attack. So, you know defensive coordinators and quarterbacks around the league are well aware that #32 is less than 100%.
Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys' opponent with this week is dealing with their own rash of injuries and this could possibly be the closest to a give me game that the Cowboys could ask for all season.
The Chicago Bears have an abundance of players injured on both sides of the ball and that could allow the Cowboys to sit Scandrick this game in hopes that another week of rest will allow him to get back closer to 100%.
I know I'm not the one making the decisions, but I think I would be extremely cautious in regards of how I would handle Scandrick's hamstring injuries.
He didn't really get the benefit of the off-season to knock off the rust or get into "football shape". The Cowboys coaching/training staff decided it would be better to take the cautious approach and I think that is exactly what they should do now.
Remember, the 2016 season has just started and there is a lot of football ahead of us.
If Orlando Scandrick continues to miss practice I don't think I would suit him up at all, but the Cowboys may decide to keep him on the active roster for the Bears game Sunday night and play him only in an emergency situation.
Who knows, maybe Scandrick can pull a Peter Pan and catch his shadow prior to the 2015 knee injury?
Whatever happens, we have to be thinking of the long-term goal and that requires doing what is best for not only #32, but the entire team.
Do you agree or disagree?
Let me hear what you think in the comment section below.
BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year
For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.
Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.
Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.
In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.
Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.
The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.
Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers
When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.
Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.
Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.
A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.
This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.
If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.
Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.
Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.
David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp
David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.
Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.
Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.
After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.
He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.
On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.
Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.
You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."
Well, you're mostly right.
Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.
Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.
Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.
Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.
Dominant interior defenders.
To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.
Again, in only eight games played.
Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.
Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.
He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.
If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.
Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.
With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.
With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.
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