|Cowboys CB Jenkins making most of opportunity|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 August 2008 14:33|
With Terence Newman sidelined by a groin injury, Jenkins - the second of the Cowboys' two first-round picks - has been getting extra snaps and starting preseason games. And Newman has been guiding him along the way.
``He's been a lot of help to me, ever since he went down,'' Jenkins said. ``He's definitely on my back all the time. ... It's starting to get annoying. He's in my ear more than (secondary coach Dave) Campo, more than the coach.''
Jenkins was smiling when he said that, appreciative of the help he is getting from the Pro Bowl cornerback - the player whose spot he has been filling since Newman got hurt three weeks ago.
``That shows a lot of class, a lot of guys wouldn't do that,'' Jenkins said. ``The day he went down, he came back to practice from doing treatment and he has stayed on me ever since then.''
Newman is expected to be back in time for the Sept. 7 season opener, and maybe even the final preseason game next week.
On the practice field, Jenkins has already made quite an impression on Pro Bowl receiver Terrell Owens.
``He has great feet, good technique. It's all about going out, getting a feel, getting some reps and having himself feel comfortable out there,'' Owens said. ``Once he does that, he's going to be one of the best corners in the league.''
When somebody asked Owens if he really meant that, T.O. answered affirmatively.
``It makes me feel real good, a receiver of that caliber praising me and just saying good things,'' Jenkins said. ``Definitely, it makes me want to go out there and work hard. It shows a lot of people are believing in me, not just on the defensive side. ... It builds up my confidence more than it is.''
The Cowboys chose Jenkins 25th overall, three picks after they got Arkansas running back Felix Jones.
In Dallas' loss last weekend, Jenkins got beat by Denver's Brandon Marshall for a 3-yard touchdown. It was a play where quarterback Jay Cutler rolled out, meaning Jenkins could have done more to defend Marshall without a penalty.
``I learned after the game, when I got schooled on that in the end zone, that once the quarterback rolls out of the pocket, I can pretty much steer the receiver where I want to,'' Jenkins said. ``I'm just learning all the rules right now.''
It's much different from his time at South Florida, when Jenkins was ``just not even touching the receiver past 5 yards'' under more stringent NCAA rules.
``On some players, you'd worry because he didn't start out well in the game, had some problems,'' coach Wade Phillips said. ``But Mike Jenkins is a competitor. ... He keeps competing and he doesn't get down on himself. He has some confidence.
``I think it was good he played against top competition and had some troubles, because then he can go back and look at it,'' Phillips said. ``I think he got better and better.''