IRVING — Orlando Scandrick has supplanted second-year cornerback Morris Claiborne in the starting lineup, but the Cowboys have played so much in the nickel alignment that Claiborne is getting snaps.Scandrick has played 240 snaps this season, with Claiborne playing 203. Claiborne still considers himself a starter.“I feel like we’re both starters,” Claiborne said Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter who goes out first. We’re both getting the same amount of plays. Mainly teams are in 11 [one running back, one tight end and three receivers] and coming out like that where they’re spreading everything out, so we both have to be in the game at all times.”Claiborne dislocated his shoulder against the New York Giants, and Scandrick took over the starting spot the next week. The Cowboys opened with three corners against the St. Louis Rams in Week 3, with Claiborne and Scandrick on the field. Claiborne played two more snaps than Scandrick on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers — 64 to 62 — with Scandrick having missed a few snaps while being evaluated for a concussion.Claiborne ranks as the 17th-most burned defender, having allowed 15 receptions for 332 yards and a touchdown while being targeted 25 times, according to STATS.Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said earlier this week that Claiborne is struggling with his confidence and his technique, and executive vice president Stephen Jones said on his radio show this week that “it’s time for the injury thing to leave the scene [with Claiborne]; he needs to step up and make plays.”Claiborne allowed six receptions for 115 yards against the Chargers, according to Pro Football Focus.“Everybody gets balls caught on them each and every day. I don’t care who you are playing corner,” Claiborne said. “It’s what you do out there.”Claiborne denies his confidence is shaken.“I don’t know why everybody keeps saying that,” Claiborne said. “It’s just the way you take it. You have to bounce back and keep playing.”Claiborne continues to get a pain-killing shot in his shoulder on game day, and he wears a harness for protection. He might need surgery at the end of the season.Briefly• Receiver Miles Austin didn’t practice Wednesday and remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos with a hamstring injury. Austin hasn’t practiced since being injured against St. Louis on Sept. 22• Defensive end George Selvie missed practice Wednesday and he continues to manage a head injury he suffered against the Chargers on Sunday. A source said Selvie will be cleared to practice this week and play Sunday. • Dez Bryant has joined the Alzheimer’s Association in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Arlington at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The event will be held at the Mavericks Activity Center on the campus of UT Arlington.• The Cowboys are 2-2, coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons with a record of 130-130 in their past 260 games. “I think at the end of the day you don’t want to be a .500 team,” tight end Jason Witten said.
Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr