Orlando Scandrick will get the nod at right cornerback with the first-team defense this Saturday when the Cowboys host the San Francisco 49ers. The move is considered to be a rotational one that has more to do with getting Scandrick some considerable playing time with the starters rather than Mike Jenkins losing any ground.
Phillips has said he intends to provide equal opportunity for his second-year corners. Jenkins and Scandrick rotated with the first-team defense opposite(when healthy) in training camp, aside from the week Jenkins spent nursing an ankle injury.
Jenkins also tweaked his ankle in the game, but he practiced Monday and is expected to play.
No matter who wins the job, Scandrick will continue moving into the slot in dime situations - a niche he created and thrived as a fifth-round draft pick last season.
More VRR after the jump.
All the Julius Crosslin chatter may not matter much, after all. It looks as if Deon Anderson, who is ahead of schedule recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, will remain the team's starting fullback.
"There’s no doubt that Deon can play," Wade Phillips said Monday afternoon. "I’m not going to give him a roster spot right here so he won’t do anything from now (until the season), but he’s a good player. He’s a good fullback for us and he’s a very good special teamer, probably our best special teamer coming back.
"We expect good things from him, and he’s a hard worker. He’s come back from injury a lot quicker than normally. He may be back before the Tampa week. He’s a good, solid football player. He’s a very aggressive blocker. He’s the strongest blocker we have at fullback, obviously."
Coach Phillips likes the progress he's seen from rookie inside linebacker Jason Williams.
"A light came on," Wade Phillips said. "I could see it in that game. He played well in that game. I'm looking forward to seeing him more. He practiced good right before the game, practiced good again today. It seems to be coming to him."
Williams and the rest of the rookies are putting the memories of the practice facility collapse behind them as the team returned to Valley Ranch.
Rookie linebacker Jason Williams said, "It's just something we got to push pass. It happen what, like three and half months ago. We can't linger on it too long. We got games we have to get ready to win so we can't think about it too much just got to get out there and play through it."
"I think there are some shots down the field we haven’t taken yet," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "We’ll see. I think that’s working in players like Miles. That’s what his specialty is going to be somewhat. He’s going to be able to beat people down the field, which we haven’t done as much of that, but I wouldn’t count it out."
The Cowboys had 51 plays of at least 20 yards last season, led by Owens’ 13. Austin had five, and when the Cowboys cut Owens during the off-season, owner Jerry Jones said part of the reason was because of Austin’s big-play potential.
"I mean we have certain plays kind of designed for that," Austin said. "But we’re not pulling out the kitchen sink [in the preseason]. Actually, I think we might have run a couple of double moves, but we’re really not running double moves. We’re really not throwing a lot of other things at them. During the season, we will. Right now, we’re not really game-planning teams. We’re just running plays and trying to execute as well as we can. That’s what’s important."
Like Austin, Kevin Ogletree is trying to make the squad as an undrafted rookie wide receiver. He has certainly made an impression on his teammates and coaches.
"He made a fantastic play on the fade route, catching the ball, keeping his feet inbounds," Phillips said. "He's got talent."
Wide receiveragreed. "He makes contested catches," Crayton said. "He's been performing all training camp."
Despite being only the second receiver in Virginia history to tally two 50-catch seasons, Ogletree got bypassed in the draft after scouts questioned his route running, his hands and his decision to leave school early. None of those perceived weaknesses was evident at camp. More importantly, they haven't popped up in the preseason either.
"He's looked good in practice, but making plays in a ballgame is important," Phillips said.
On Saturday, the Dallas defense will face the preseason's leading rusher in the 49ers' Glen Coffee. Coffee, a third-round draft pick from Alabama, carried the rock 16 times for 129 yards against the Raiders on Saturday night.
The 49ers have also named Shaun Hill as the team's starting quarterback.
What should Jerry Jones do about the high-def screens hanging 90 feet above the Cowboys Stadium's field? Ask Mat McBriar. The Cowboys punter isn't all concerned about the giant videoboard needing to be raised.
"Our game plan is to kick to the sidelines. So for myself it's not in my mind," Cowboys punter Mat McBriar said Monday. "I know it's there, obviously. But it's not something that catches my eye as much as guys who are kicking straight down the field."
The band, U2, is going to pay the Cowboys two million dollars to raise the videoboard for their October concert.