FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Orlando Scandrick will play with some sort of protection on his broken left hand after missing just one game.
The Dallas cornerback already had that plan before the Cowboys ended up with just two healthy players at his position for most of a 42-17 loss to Denver last weekend. And it’s a good thing for Dallas that he did anticipate a quick return, because two cornerbacks are likely to be sidelined Monday night at Arizona.
“Eager to get back and get things on the right track,” said Scandrick, the veteran leader of the secondary who was injured in a season-opening win over the New York Giants. “Good defense we’re playing. And it’s our job to outplay their defense.”
The Cowboys are trying to bounce back from allowing Trevor Siemian’s career high-tying four touchdown passes in the blowout, and figure to have someone making his Dallas debut for the second straight week against the Cardinals.
Bene Benwikere, acquired in a trade with Cincinnati just before the season, is likely to be active for the first time if Nolan Carroll (concussion) and rookie Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) can’t play against the Cardinals.
Carroll and Awuzie were gone before halftime against the Broncos and missed the first two practices this week.
Rookie Jourdan Lewis, drafted in the third round after Dallas took Awuzie in the second, debuted against the Broncos after missing almost all of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Second-year player Anthony Brown is the only cornerback to get through the first two games unscathed.
“It’s hard, especially when you’re in the altitude and there was a young player out there and he hadn’t played,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “He’d never even played in the NFL and he went out there and did a solid job.”
While he was fooled by Emmanuel Sanders on a touchdown in the second quarter, Lewis had his first career interception in the third.
“From a mental standpoint, definitely got to get better,” said Lewis, a former Michigan player. “From a physical standpoint, I feel like I could go out there and do everything. It’s just the attention to detail that definitely needs to be cleaned up.”
The return of Scandrick goes beyond him having at least twice the amount of experience of the rest of the defensive backs outside of Carroll. The 10th-year player brings a unique emotional component.
“We didn’t play with the edge that we should’ve, we didn’t feel,” Marinelli said of the loss to the Broncos. “Coaches, players are all in it. And of course he’s a guy that does bring some edge, no question about it.”
Rookie safety Xavier Woods played in the slot against Denver because of the emergency need at cornerback. Byron Jones, a starting safety, was drafted as a cornerback and could be another option.
Benwikere hopes to make the move of any safety unnecessary.
“I’ve played in games before,” the fourth-year player said. “So for me to have to go everything and for the last two games and just kind of watch, definitely I’ve been itching and eager to finally get in some action.”
Scandrick feels the same after watching just one game.