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Orlando Scandrick Is A Shadow Of His Former Self

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Orlando Scandrick A Player In His Decline?

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.Cowboys Headlines - Orlando Scandrick Is A Shadow Of His Former Self

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.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kevin Black

    September 23, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Injuries to your legs are so detrimental to playing in the secondary. I’m not talking about his knees, but his hamstrings. Right now his body seems to be compensating and putting more pressure on his hamstrings during gameplay. He’s going to have to work through it and try and strengthen them when he can. Not an ideal situation for him, but knowing Scandrick, he will do what’s necessary to get on the field at 100%.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 23, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Kevin, that’s kind of the point I was trying to make in my article. That’s why I think it would be a good idea to allow him to rest up this week against the Bears. I’m not sure I would even suit him up for the game, but the Cowboys may choose to and just play him in emergency situations.

  2. Kevin Washington

    September 23, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Sit him!! With all the Bears injuries I think the Boy’s will be fine. We’re going to need Scandrick as healthy as possible later in the year. I forget the backups name right now but he’s not bad, especially with their relievers banged up.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Kevin. Rookie cornerback Anthony Brown would be the one filling in for Scandrick. Brown has played pretty well when on the field and the Chicago Bears don’t really have an impressive group of wide receivers to cover. But, I do agree with sitting 32.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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