IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick is someone who tells you in measured, even tones what he's thinking.
If you ask him a question, he'll answer it honestly. He'll correct a reporter if they get their facts wrong.
"I mean, I live by the saying, 90 percent of the people don’t care about your problems and the other 10 percent is happy that you got them," he said.
Scandrick is having one of his best seasons of his career. He's tied for the team lead with 12 pass breakups and is second with two interceptions. Scandrick also has taken on big tasks similar to fellow starting corner Brandon Carr.
In last week's game against the New York Giants, Scandrick asked secondary coach Jerome Henderson to allow him to cover Victor Cruz the entire game. Cruz finished with just two catches and complained about being held. Scandrick, in those measured, even tones of his said he respected Cruz and that perhaps the receiver thought he was double-teamed.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones called Scandrick one of the team's more indispensable players. Coach Jason Garrett said Scandrick plays with a swagger.
Scandrick is just honest about his play right now in comparison to last season when he was the slot corner in the nickel behind Morris Claiborne and Carr.
But when Claiborne went down with a shoulder injury, Scandrick took over the starting job. When Claiborne became healthy, he remained on the nickel and Scandrick continues to be the starter.
"I’m just better [than last year]," Scandrick said. "I’m not going to stay the same. Nothing stays the same. I think everybody forgets that when I came in, I didn't get time to sit back and learn. Everything I do is learning on the fly. I was playing nickel my first year and my second year I was competing for a starting job, which it actually came down to the season to who they determined was the starter. The guy who basically beat me out went to the Pro Bowl that year, [Oakland's Mike Jenkins] so people are going to say what they’re going to say. Criticism is going to be criticism."
It's that criticism that fuels him sometimes. The biggest issue with Scandrick is he doesn't get enough interceptions, the pair of interceptions he's got this season are the most in a single season of his six years in the NFL.
"I’m just playing," he said. "My job is to come here and play. I didn’t worry about what you guys thought about me when I wasn’t living up to my contract or living up to the player everybody thought I was. Now I’m focused. It’s like tunnel vision. I’m just looking up the next opponent and try to be consistent and do it again next week."