Cowboys Lose Cornerback Orlando Scandrick For 2015
The Dallas Cowboys added elite pass rusher Greg Hardy this offseason and with star linebacker coming back from an injury, there were high hopes the defense could climb up among the league’s best.
Accomplishing that just got a lot more difficult. Per reports, the team’s top cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, suffered tears to both the ACL and MCL in his knee in practice on Tuesday. The team initially feared the worst when Scandrick had to be carted off the practice field on Tuesday afternoon, and the injury was confirmed after an MRI on Wednesday.
MRI confirmed the bad news: Torn ACL and MCL for Orlando Scandrick. Season is done.
— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) August 26, 2015
The injury is especially tough to take consider Dallas just got done locking Scandrick up to a long-term deal this past May. Easily the Cowboys’ top pass defender, Scandrick agreed to a one-year extension on his already existing contract. In other words, Scandrick proved with his play in 2014 that he deserved a pay raise, and Dallas obliged.
Picking up the Pieces
The money Dallas spent on Orlando Scandrick still isn’t wasted if he can return to full strength in 2016 and play out his contract as a plus contributor. Considering he’s still just 28 and is a great cover man, that remains a hopeful reality.
Regardless of what the future holds for Orlando Scandrick, however, Dallas now needs to turn their focus on figuring out what their pass defense will look like without him. The Cowboys were already looking at dicey situations at their second and third cornerback spots, as Morris Claiborne had been an arguable bust before suffering his own knee injury last year, Brandon Carr has been a massive free agent bust and Byron Jones, although solid, is still working his way back from a shoulder issue.
The Orlando Scandrick injury, at least on the surface, puts Dallas in a tough spot, as they may not have the necessary talent to field a strong pass defense in 2015. That could have owner Jerry Jones digging into his wallet to find a serviceable free agent cornerback (or two), or possible even contemplating a trade.
As they stand, the Dallas Cowboys are the favorite to win the NFC East again in 2015. That’s not a small feat, considering the division has seen a different winner in each of the last three seasons. Even if they do win the division, however, Dallas may not be able to go very far without stability in the back of their defense. The addition of Hardy and the maturation of their defensive line in general should help their secondary, but if Claiborne and Carr play like they had been playing, the Cowboys aren’t chasing down another Super Bowl this season.
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