Dallas Cowboys

Scandrick to start for injured Claiborne, Brown ready for nickel


The Cowboys can't seemingly get healthy at cornerback.

The grand plan of Orlando Scandrick, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to be healthy and ready to go for the first time in two years was thwarted at the start of the season when Scandrick suffered hamstring strains to both legs in the opener against the New York Giants.

After limping through the second game against the Washington Redskins, Scandrick sat out the next four games.

He returned for the Green Bay Packers game last Sunday only to see Claiborne suffer a sports hernia that will keep him out 4-6 weeks.

"That's how it's been," Scandrick said. "Two years ago he tears his patella. Last year I tore my ACL. This year we think we going to get us all back then I had a setback that cost me a month. Now we get us all back together and he has deal."

It's a huge setback because Claiborne was playing the best football of his career and was arguably the team's second best defensive player behind linebacker Sean Lee.

The return of Scandrick, the team's 2014 defensive player of the year who missed all of last season with a major knee injury, should soften the blow.

Scandrick had no issues with his hamstring against the Packers, though he did bruise a previously broken left hand. It was wrapped in ice on Monday but Scandrick said it was mostly for precautionary reasons.

Scandrick played 56 snaps on defense against the Eagles, recording a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass deflection.

"It's a great opportunity," Scandrick said. "It's not Mo being out. It's about me playing good football and doing everything I can."

Scandrick will start on the outside along with Carr and move to the slot in the nickel defense.

Rookie Anthony Brown, who played the slot when Scandrick was sidelined, will play the outside in the nickel on passing downs.

"'That was huge getting those reps in, getting a lot of reps," Brown said. "The game slowed down for me."

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