Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett: Health issue keeps Scandrick out of starting lineup

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick played 54 of 74 snaps, with Anthony Brown earning the start.
Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick played 54 of 74 snaps, with Anthony Brown earning the start. AP

Orlando Scandrick has battled a sore foot, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett revealed Friday. Although the cornerback did not appear on the injury report, Scandrick’s health issues are the main reason he didn’t start against the Vikings, Garrett said.

Rookie Anthony Brown started and played all 74 snaps. Scandrick played 54 snaps in the team’s substitution packages.

“As much as anything else with Orlando, it’s just a health issue throughout the year,” Garrett said. “He just hasn’t been able to practice the way he needs to practice. He’s done a really good job fighting through it. Our reasoning was more about what we had done with him earlier in the year. When you’re coming off an injury like that and dealing with some health issues, we wanted to put him in a nickel role where he’s going to play a ton of plays. He’s going to play north of 40, 50, 60 snaps in the game and allow Anthony to play the outside position and just hopefully get [Scandrick] comfortable as he’s dealing with these injuries.”

Scandrick missed last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee during training camp. He started the first two games this season before straining both hamstrings, forcing him to miss four weeks.

Scandrick started five games after returning, playing 285 of 326 snaps. Brown played only in the substitution packages, with Scandrick moving inside.

Both cornerbacks played well Thursday. Scandrick made seven tackles, although he did have a hands to the face penalty that negated an interception by Anthony Hitchens.

“He did a really nice job in the game,” Garrett said. “He probably made five or six tackles, physical tackles in the game, where he really looked like himself and was around the ball a lot and probably played his best game in recent weeks.”

Brown made four tackles and broke up a pass in the end zone.

“I thought Anthony did a really nice job over the course of the game,” Garrett said. “They went out on a few different times on some deep balls, and he made some plays, did a good job tackling at different times throughout the game. The opposing quarterbacks and receivers in the league are going to complete passes against you. But it’s just your ability to come back and play that position that really separates the guys from each other. There’s no question in our minds he’s getting better and better and better. He’s learning from his experiences and improving each and every week. He did a good job in a lot of ways last night.”

The Cowboys continue to list 12 starters on their defensive depth chart, with Brandon Carr, Scandrick and Morris Claiborne, who is injured, as starting cornerbacks. Brown remains a backup on the team’s official depth chart.