A few years ago I remember listening to an ex-player being interviewed. This guy was a smart guy but a journeyman physical talent who moved through no less than 5 NFL teams - so had a great exposure to a large number of players across many different team cultures.
He said on every team that there were players for whom the NFL was clearly simply a job, a paycheck. For those players the motivation and thus the quality of play dropped off substantially once they got their big payday. I am sure anyone reading this can think of a few examples right off the top of their head.
Unfortunately, while this is often clear in hindsight, most of these players do a reasonable job of hiding this - and say and do the right things until that contract is landed. From that point, while they continue to play, they simply don't make the same level of personal sacrifice required to be a great or even good NFL player. And the NFL demands a huge personal sacrifice to succeed - from the intensity of off-season workouts, to the willingness to make, or take, violent collisions and sacrifice your body to the game.
Mike Jenkins has shown all the signs of being a paycheck player. We all cringed at the couple of very obvious business decisions Jenkins has made in his career. And no doubt there have been others not quite so obvious. There is no doubt he toughed things out last year playing hurt, but that was in the hope and expectation he would receive a contract extension this year, particulary given the quality of the Cowboys CB stocks at the time.
JG is very clear on the type of player he wants - the RKG. And he defines this primarily by a true passion for the game. Which is why he took Dez on, for whatever his off the field issues, there is no doubt Dez has a great passion for the game and competitive spirit. Mike Jenkins does not.
Mike Jenkins will likely get his big payday at the end of the season, but it won't be from the Cowboys. And I have significant doubts he would ever play up to the value of that contract. But this year the Cowboys will get exceptional value - an extremely motivated player still playing on his rookie contract, saying and doing the right things. He may have sulked a bit over the offseason because he didn't get his contract, but its clear he is back on track with his eyes on the big prize.
And then we can wish him well as we wave him goodbye and move on with the RKGs.