The Cowboys will undoubtedly miss cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice on Tuesday, as a leader and a player.
He was the team’s best cornerback and gave the defense edge with his fiery style.
But ironically, the Cowboys have traveled this road before _ losing one of their best defenders and leaders in linebacker Sean Lee before the 2014 season _ and plan to use that experience as guide in overcoming the loss of Scandrick.
The Cowboys signed free-agent linebacker Rolando McClain to replace the departed Lee last year. This year they believe they have capable in-house replacements and a deeper corps of cornerbacks in Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, rookie top pick Byron Jones, Tyler Patmon and free-agent signee Corey White.
"Well, I think the biggest thing with last year was that when Sean was out we felt like there was somewhat a need to go outside the organization to get somebody," coach Jason Garrett said. "We were fortunate to be able to get Rolando, and he really added a lot to our team last year and he’s going to be a big part of our team this year. With this position, we’re less likely to go outside and look for Orlando Scandrick’s replacement.
"We feel good about the guys we have on the team right now, that’s not to say we won’t go get a cornerback for depth or whatever to just fill out that number, but we like what Patmon does, we like what Corey White does, obviously we like Mo, we like Brandon Carr, we like Byron Jones. There’s a lot of guys who can vie for these snaps. Orlando has been a really good player for us, he brings a lot to our team, we’re certainly going to miss him, but we do have to move on as a team."
The Cowboys have two more preseason games and a ton of practices before they take the field against the New York Giants in the Sept. 13 season opener.
So they have time to get a plan in place.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said it’s all about the next man up.
"We got good players here," defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. "We’ll miss the dog out of the guy. I mean he’s a special guy. Edgy. But everybody in the league goes through this, so it’s the ones who can put it aside and we got to go. We love our guy to death. We’re going to root for him. But now we got to go. Great player, probably best slot player in the league, so he will obviously be missed. Somebody’s got to step up now. We’ve got some men who can step up and we are counting on them."