To Mike Jenkins, the term "cover corner" isn't quite as flattering as many would think, and it's a term he does not apply to himself.
"I don't know that you can call me a cover corner," he said after going through his first practice as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in their rookie mini-camp. "That's a compliment, but it makes it sound like you can't do anything but cover.
"I'm a complete corner."
The former South Florida star had been the subject of speculation that he might be the first cornerback taken in last week's NFL draft, an honor that went instead to Buffalo's Leodis McKelvin. Jenkins actually was the third cornerback chosen (Tampa Bay chose Aqib Talib two picks before Dallas grabbed Jenkins), a fact that the newest Cowboy cornerback, a plan he doesn't plan to soon forget.
"I'm just going to come in here and work hard," he said. "I'm here with a little chip on my shoulder, too — I plan to show everyone that I am the best corner in this year's draft."
Secondary coach Dave Campo said that Jenkins' competitive attitude is just the type of attitude he wants in his players.
"The great thing about competition," Campo said, "is that it brings out the best in people. You saw here last year you need a minimum of three top-level cornerbacks, because you're going to face three wide receivers all the time, and if you play the Packers, you're going to face four."
Jenkins joins a secondary that already has a top-flight pair of cornerbacks in Terence Newman and Anthony Henry, and could add recently-acquired Adam "Pacman" Jones if he is reinstated to the league. That stable of talent, he says, alleviates any pressure he might otherwise feel to take over a starting spot right away … but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to be out on the field as he learns.
"There's not really (any) pressure on me," Jenkins said. "It's just a great opportunity to come in and learn from the rest of the guys and be the best I can be. Whatever I can do to get on the field, I will."
The Complete Corner
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