The last time that the Dallas Cawboys and Peyton Manning got together on the football field, it was a field day for the Dallas defense in general, and Orlando Scandrick was one of the players who played a critical role in handing Manning's Colts a 38-35 defeat. That day, he intercepted a Manning pass and returned it for a touchdown. In spite of his personal success on the field that day; Scandrick, a player who is rarely satisfied with his own efforts, draws motivation not from the pick six he had against Peyton, but from the challenge of bettering the team's performance against Manning this time around.
"They scored 35 points on us.I don’t want to trade four interceptions for 35 points." - Orlando Scandrick
Not only has the Dallas cornerback experienced past success against the Broncos quarterback, he has also handled himself well against the receiver he will spend most of Sunday afternoon covering. Back in mid October of 2011, the Dallas Cowboys locked horns with the New England Patriots and on that day Scandrick got his first opportunity to test his skills against one of the best slot men in the league. Coming into the contest, Welker had already accumulated 45 catches for 740 yards on the the season and it was widely felt that he would continue his exploits against the Cowboys. By the time that the dust had settled that day the Patriots walked off the field with a hard fought victory, but Orlando Scandrick had also proven his mettle against the acclaimed slot receiver from New England. He held Welker to six receptions and 45 yards on the day, one of Welker's least productive days on the season.
"I think I competed and battled the whole way that game. I look forward to these kinds of games and these kinds of challenges."- Orlando Scandrick
Although both men no longer wear the same colors that they were wearing on those occasions, both are still on top of their games as members of the Denver Broncos. So is Orlando Scandrick, now more so than any time in his career. Head coach Jason Garrett says that this is exactly the type of situation that his cornerback thrives in.
"Covering Wes Welker is one of the great challenges for a DB or inside nickel back in the NFL. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it...A guy like Scandrick, who comes where he comes from and has a little of that chip on his shoulder that we like, you embrace this kind of opportunity." - Jason Garrett
To be successful in his assignment the Cowboys defensive back does not necessarily need to pick off Manning again, but he does need to hold Wes Welker in check. Like he told the media on Wednesday, it is a matter of having trust in himself to find something deep inside that motivates him and ride that motivation into the Sunday afternoon showdown at AT&T Stadium. Jason Garrett wants players who embrace challenges and Scandrick is a player who does not back down from one. He keeps everything in perspective. Orlando finished his visit with the media with a statement that sums up his take on the upcoming game.
"We’re just trying to win a football game. It’s the next football game. It just so happens we’re going against one of the greatest players to ever play in the National Football League, and definitely one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest quarterback, to ever play."