Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 17
NFL Network's Albert Breer reports good news for the Cowboys and Scandrick:
Updates from Friday, Sept. 12
ESPN's Tim MacMahon has the latest on Scandrick:
Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star Telegram has good news regarding Scandrick's suspension:
However, Hill noted that there were still no guarantees that Scandrick would be reinstated:
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12
ESPN's Ed Werder reports when and how Scandrick consumed the banned substance that led to his four-game suspension:
The NFL also issued a statement on Scandrick's ability to complete training camp and preseason games (via Desmond Purnell of NFL.com):
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer later weighed in on Scandrick's punishment:
Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin previously provided a statement from Scandrick and his agent, Ron Slavin:
Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the news:
The Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill offered further insight on the suspension along with his take on what it means for the Cowboys:
Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer had more details, writing in a Twitter post: "Just talked to Orlando Scandrick about his 4 game suspension. Says he took something in Mexico while on vacation and it texted [sic] positive on banned list for performance enhancer."
Rob Pizzola of theScore Inc. feels Scandrick's absence will exacerbate the issues America's Team will have on defense:
NFL Network's Michael Fabiano expressed a similar sentiment in outlining the fantasy implications:
Scandrick defended 12 passes and had two interceptions in 2013, starting 15 of the 16 games in which he appeared. He recently remarked how the perception of him would change for the better if he hauled in more picks.
"That's the only thing I feel I've been missing from my game,” said Scandrick, per ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer. "The only thing. The only thing that has separated me from just being that above-average guy and being an elite guy is going and getting the ball."
Dallas had the 30th-ranked pass defense last season and has a rather weak overall unit. Based on the following statistic from Pro Football Focus' Jeff Deeney, without Scandrick, the Cowboys may truly be in serious trouble:
Losing someone like Scandrick for the first four games could be a big blow for the Cowboys, who desperately need a strong start to avoid missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.
For a franchise with so much history and tradition of success, Dallas must put forth a better effort in 2014. If the Cowboys fail to qualify for the postseason, a massive shake-up on the coaching staff is bound to occur. The secondary does sport the likes of Brandon Carr and former first-round draft choice Morris Claiborne, but Dallas lacks depth at the cornerback position.
In the regular-season opener, the Cowboys host the physical, ground-and-pound attack of the San Francisco 49ers and also have dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick to account for. Then comes a two-game road trip, first to face a Tennessee Titans team led by signal-caller Jake Locker, who's in a contract year and out to prove himself.
The last game Scandrick is absent for will mercifully be back home, but Dallas will face the offensive juggernaut of the New Orleans Saints. Scandrick would then be scheduled to return for a Week 5 home contest versus the Houston Texans.
Unless Claiborne plays to his potential, the Cowboys safeties step up or the defensive front generates a mega pass rush, the outlook for Dallas' defense is pretty bleak in the first quarter of the season.