ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the first time this season, Mike Jenkins received extended snaps on defense. Not at safety, but cornerback.
Jenkins made his season debut last week after he recovered from shoulder surgery and played both corner and safety. But on Sunday, Brandon Carr started at free safety and Jenkins got significant snaps at cornerback. He didn't play the slot and was used as an outside corner.
"I felt like pretty good, got my feet wet and got comfortable, but there were some situations where I had to tighten myself up," Jenkins said. "At halftime I just tried to get live. We got safeties going down (and I) got to play. I pretty much had a talk with myself, (secondary coach) Jerome (Henderson) being in my ear helping me out, I was good."
Jenkins was credited with one tackle and a pass breakup in the victory over Tampa Bay. With the Cowboys having safety issues due to the season-ending Achilles injury to Barry Church and the uncertain status of Gerald Sensabaugh, Carr could play more at the position.
That leaves Jenkins mainly at corner, a position where he's the most relaxed. This was one of those games where Jenkins, in the final year of contact, needed to play well.
His future with the Cowboys is in question because he wasn't offered a long-term contract. However, team officials are open to taking care of Jenkins if he plays well.
Getting a $50 million contract, which is similar to what Carr received this spring, might not work for the Cowboys from a financial standpoint. It could elsewhere for Jenkins.
To get a good financial package, he must play like he did Sunday, with tight coverage and making plays on the ball when challenged.
"Jenks played really well," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It was good to see him playing the way he is capable of playing, and Brandon (Carr's) versatility allows him to do that."