IRVING, Texas -- With the NFL and NFL Players Association working on a revamped drug policy that could be put in place quickly, the Dallas Cowboys could benefit with the potential earlier-than-expected return of cornerback Orlando Scandrick if the penalties are changed.
Scandrick was suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy last month after testing positive for MDMA, according to sources. The drug was cut with an amphetamine, which moved Scandrick’s violation from the substance-abuse policy to the PED policy, requiring the four-game ban. He would not have been suspended under the substance-abuse policy.
If the drug policy is changed, the question is whether the sides would allow recently suspended players, like Scandrick and Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, to play immediately. When the league implemented a new domestic violence policy recently, the two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was not increased to six.
The Cowboys would activate Scandrick to the roster if he is allowed to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. His suspension started after the final cuts, and he is scheduled to return Sept. 29. The Cowboys are not allowed to have contact with Scandrick, per league rules, but he said he would work out twice a day on his own with a personal trainer in Los Angeles.
Scandrick has missed four days of practice, but the Cowboys started their game planning for the Niners in training camp.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas Friday the possibility of Scandrick returning was news to him.
“I’m not planning on it, let’s put it like that,” Jones said. “Just on first blush, just from what you just said, the quicker we can get him back, the better our team would be because he arguably did have certainly defensively, and in the secondary, a great training camp. I really admired the way that he really kept competing and kept preparing himself for the season even though he knew he was going to be out for the four games. No individual, no person would deserve it more if he could get back early.”