NFL Trade Rumors: Why the Dallas Cowboys Won't Trade Mike Jenkins

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIMay 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Cornerback Mike Jenkins #21of the Dallas Cowboys intercepts a pass against Brandon Lloyd #83 of the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Mike Jenkins' name was tossed on the trade rumor cycle soon after the Dallas Cowboys drafted Morris Claiborne. It's funny how trade rumors materialize out of a tangentially related occurrence. Less than two weeks later, Jenkins saw his name swatted off the trade rumor radar by Jerry Jones.

Some might have felt inclined to believe that Jenkins would be traded, considering the source. Writing for ESPNDallas, Cowboys beat reporter Calvin Watkins broke the rumor that Dallas wanted to deal Jenkins on April 27, citing a league source.

However, Watkins hedged his rumor. He noted that the Cowboys wouldn't trade Jenkins unless they were to receive "significant value in return." Additionally, he noted that the Cowboys hadn't made or received calls regarding Jenkins.

Also, he quoted Cowboys vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones, who said, "We think the world of Mike Jenkins. ... At the end of the day, I think he'll be on our team."

Fortunately for Watkins, he had a muzzle ready to place on the rumor horn. On Wednesday, Watkins reported in a piece for ESPNDallas that Jerry Jones squashed the rumors surrounding Jenkins.

Jones said, "He's a vital part of our plan. We that we've got a situation where we know what we are on defense by having three corners in there a lot."

In that statement, Jones spelled the primary reason why the Cowboys won't trade Jenkins. Jones knows that in order to be effective, the Cowboys defense needs to have three corners that are good enough to be on the field a substantial amount of the time.

The Cowboys would have that in Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Jenkins. Claiborne and Carr are both fantastic cover cornerbacks. Both read plays well and have great ball skills.

Jenkins has a shot at becoming a solid cornerback. He showed it in his second season in 2009, in which he picked off five passes, deflected 19 more and made the Pro Bowl.

Last season, he did quite well in an injury-marred season. Jenkins missed four games, but ended up with an interception and eight pass deflections.

If healthy, the 27-year-old could blossom into a promising player. He appears to have the ball skills to be successful in coverage. His size (6'0", 200 pounds) is decent.

Also, Jenkins could be a nice substitute if either Claiborne or Carr get injured during the season. He'd be able to replace some of the interception potential that they have.

The Cowboys recognize that they wouldn't want to be in a position where they'd have just two reliable cornerbacks. If one gets injured, they might not have a strong replacement without Jenkins.

Orlando Scandrick might be alright. He had 42 solo tackles, an interception and five pass deflections in 2011. But Scandrick does get beat by good receivers.

Time will tell if Justin Taplin-Ross or anyone else will have an impact at cornerback.

Jones made a sound decision by stating that Jenkins will be off the market. He recognizes the needs of the team, as well as Jenkins' capability. The Cowboys should be well off with good talent going three-deep.