Whatever you want to say about former SMU head coach June Jones - like, he stole money and he mailed it in - he knew Orlando Scandrick was not a fifth round pick.
In 2008, Jones told then Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips the best player the team drafted that year was cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Jones had coached against Scandrick when he was at Hawaii and Scandrick was at Boise State.
The Cowboys are often ripped for the draft class of 2008, but they did land Scandrick and tight end Martellus Bennett. There was the tiny problem that the class included two first round picks, corner Mike Jenkins and Felix Jones, but Scandrick’s inclusion makes that draft not a complete bust like, say, 2009.
As a rookie, Scandrick was a sullen, angry young man that simply could not understand what he was a fifth round pick. He was the same way in his second year. And his third year. Fourth year, too. This was mad man, and he loudly complained about that his Boise State coaches had tossed him under the bus in the draft evaluation process.
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Maybe he was right. He was certainly better than a fifth round pick, and is a legit cover corner in the NFL. He is also the unquestioned voice, heart and soul of the Cowboys defense.
No, I never saw this coming.
He is in his eighth year in the NFL and if he has a few more interceptions this season should be a Pro Bowler. He is physical, plays the angles and can cover any receiver. He is not a shutdown corner, but is one of the most versatile corners in the league.
What he needs are a few more interceptions and he will be a Pro Bowler. He had two picks last season on a defense that was viewed as the weak link on a 12-4 team. If the Cowboys had been able to apply a little more pressure on quarterbacks, Scandrick would likely had a few more interceptions than two and a Pro Bowl invite.
And, yes, he cares about that. This guy has felt disrespected since he walked into the NFL. He is a serious man that wants people to know he’s good.
Not many corners are stat stuffers. He had 14 tackles for losses, four quarterback pressures, 11 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one sack and 54 tackles last season with two picks.
“It wasn’t good enough. We were 12-4 and that’s good and we won a playoff game but we don’t get anything for that,” he said at training camp.
He has slowly and steadily matured and progressed as a player and a person to the point where he can clearly say his Boise State coaches were wrong, and June Jones was right - he was the best player the Cowboys drafted in 2008.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760