Cowboys free agents: Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins wants a starting job, but he won't get it with the Cowboys. Jeff Fishbein/Icon SMI

Mike Jenkins

Position: Cornerback

Type: Unrestricted

Summary: Jenkins' contract year could not have gone worse. He had reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder after the 2011 season, did almost all of his rehab away from the Cowboys, missed the entire offseason program, saw the Cowboys sign Brandon Carr to a $50 million free-agent deal and draft Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Jenkins was not healthy enough to play in the opener, missed three games during the year and started only two. After Orlando Scandrick was lost for the year with a broken hand, Jenkins moved into the slot for the first time in his career. He had only 14 tackles and three pass breakups and did not have an interception.

Why keep him: He has ability and can be a top-shelf cornerback when healthy, and teams can never have enough cornerbacks. After the season he had, he could be a cheap buy.

Why let him go: This isn't about the Cowboys letting him go. This is about Jenkins wanting to go, especially after the drafting of Claiborne. He wants an opportunity to start, which he won't get here.

Best guess: Jenkins will play elsewhere in 2013, but he will not land the type of deal he expects. He might have to go with a one-year deal with the chance to cash in the following season. He turns 28 in March, so he might have a difficult time ever cashing in.

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