Orlando Scandrick took his usual position with the first team Tuesday. It followed a morning apology by the cornerback to his teammates.
Scandrick made no excuses for his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
“I made a bad decision,” Scandrick said. “I’m responsible for what goes in my body. I know I’m responsible for what goes in my body. It’s a very humbling experience. I’m very sorry. I apologize to the Jones family. I’m very sorry to my teammates. I’m very sorry to the fans of Cowboys nation, and I’m very sorry to my family.”
Scandrick said he took a recreational drug during a vacation in Mexico. It is a drug commonly called “Molly,” according to a source, and Scandrick confirmed he tested positive for an amphetamine, which sometimes contained in the drug and is on the league’s PED list.
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“In no way, form or shape was this trying to gain a competitive edge,” said Scandrick, who will forfeit approximately $1 million in loss of game checks and repaying part of his signing bonus. “I simply made a mistake. It was a dumb mistake.”
Scandrick, 27, will finish training camp and the preseason before his ban from the team begins. The seven-year veteran can return to Valley Ranch on Sept. 29, the day after the Dallas Cowboys’ game against the New Orleans Saints.
“What we are going to do now is make the best out of this situation in regards to him and the football team,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s important for him not to lose his spirit, because he brings a lot to our team. He will [bring a lot to the team] over the course of the next few weeks of practice and when he comes for the season.”
Scandrick is the only one of the team’s top four cornerbacks who has not missed a day of training camp. Brandon Carr arrived in Oxnard on Saturday after the death of his mother, and injuries have sidelined Morris Claiborne (knee tendinitis) and Sterling Moore (strained groin).
Scandrick has not only been the Cowboys’ best cornerback but also their best defender this camp. Now, the Cowboys face a short-term future without him.
“Anytime you’re not playing with your starters, you miss something. They are starters for a reason,” secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. “ But the next guy’s got to play. It’s an opportunity for somebody else to get a chance to go play and make a name for themselves.”
Moore now gets his turn.
He takes over the nickel corner, playing the slot receiver. The former SMU standout has played 24 NFL games, including five each of the past two seasons with the Cowboys.
“It’s definitely big shoes to fill,” Moore said. “He’s one of the premiere inside corners in this league. I’m definitely going to look to him for some advice and for tips that he has. He’s played there for a long time. But it’s next man up, and we don’t expect any drop-offs.”
Rookie Terrance Mitchell and second-year veteran B.W. Webb have new competition to make the 53-player roster as backups. On Tuesday, the Cowboys traded defensive lineman Ben Bass to the New England Patriots for cornerback Justin Green.