The Cowboys have lost Jones and veteran cornerback Anthony Henry from last season's roster, leaving Terence Newman as the team's only cornerback who has started a full season in the NFL. Jones and the Cowboys aren't shy with their praise of second-year cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick. But they are largely unproven and behind them are a bunch of undrafted youngsters and late-round rookies.
Given Newman's injury history, any concern the Cowboys have about the cornerback spot would appear warranted. While Newman's ability is unquestioned, he has not played a full season since 2006. But one thing is certain: This group is not lacking confidence, which all starts with Newman.
"I think we're going to be one of the top secondaries out there," Newman said. "We've got all the talent."
Newman is feeling healthy -- better than he has in years -- but how the cornerback corps lines up behind him is uncertain.
Jenkins switched from No. 31 to No. 21 after Pacman's departure, which speaks volumes about his mindset and his confidence in his own ability. Perhaps nobody in the secondary displays more of a cool confidence than Scandrick, who played well early in his rookie season in 2008. Scandrick talks the talk, but also walks the walk.
Newman believes the whole crew has looked the part in OTAs, leading to his proclamation that this could be one of the top secondaries in the league.
"Both of them are great athletes to start," Newman said. "They've both started working on technique heavily and you can tell. It pays.
"Jenkins was kind of rusty as far as a press corner. That's all he did. But there were certain technical errors that he made last season, and he's worked hard in the offseason to correct those. You can tell it when we watch the film and Campo is telling him great job and that's the way it's supposed to be done.
"Orlando, he was pretty good at press anyway. He's just working on technique as well, trying to protect our craft. Both of them have come a long ways."
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