IRVING, Texas -- Wade Phillips believes Mike Jenkins should be in the Pro Bowl, but the coach can't vote for his own players. Jenkins didn't get any help from the fans, as he didn't finish in the top five among NFC cornerbacks.
But Jenkins should get serious consideration from players and coaches around the league.
Green Bay's Charles Woodson and Philadelphia's Asante Samuel, who are tied for the NFC lead with eight interceptions, should be locks. Jenkins has five picks, putting him in a pack of NFC cornerbacks that includes Philadelphia's Sheldon Brown, Arizona's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tampa Bay's Aqib Talib, New York's Terrell Thomas and Chicago's Zack Bowman.
Of course, interceptions are only one criteria to judge cornerbacks, but it's a good bet that the NFC's third Pro Bowl corner will come from that pack. It'll likely come down to the veteran Brown and '08 first-round picks Cromartie-Rodgers and Jenkins.
Jenkins is likely to get beat out by his good friend Cromartie-Rodgers, a fellow Tampa-area native Jenkins calls his "godbrother." Cromartie-Rodgers finished fourth in the fan vote behind Woodson, Samuel and Minnesota's Antoine Winfield. He had a better rookie season than Jenkins, so he had a head start. And he's returned one interception for a TD and forced two fumbles, giving him a couple of statistical edges on Jenkins.
Jenkins' biggest advantage is that he's played his best in prime-time games, when players around the league are watching. Three of his picks have come in night games, including the Cowboys' two best wins (at Philadelphia and at New Orleans).
Jenkins at least accomplished his goal of being in the Pro Bowl conversation, but he might have to wait one more year to actually get in the game.