In the teams' first meeting, in Week 1, Cruz caught five passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Cruz is credited with catching just two of those passes against Scandrick, one of which went for a touchdown. Safety Will Allen, who is now with Pittsburgh, gave up two catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
In the past when Cruz was lined up in the slot he's been held to some low totals. He had just two catches in a victory last season, and in five career games against the Cowboys he has 25 catches for 451 yards.
"I think he's got great body control," Scandrick said of Cruz. "Great at setting up the routes, he's extremely good at attacking the ball. He's second to none after the catch. I got all of the respect in the world for that guy, looking forward to competing with him. I'm going to be here, he's going to be there, we know we’re going to see each other two times a year."
Scandrick has had a solid season in 2013. He's been credited with nine passes defended, tied for the team lead, to go with two interceptions. Pro Football Focus credits Scandrick with allowing 35 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns.
The respect Scandrick has for Cruz is reciprocated.
"Our battles have been pretty good," Cruz said in a conference call with reporters. "There's been ups and downs. Their team has gotten the better of me, the better of us offensively. We've gone back and forth a couple of times, he's a good player, he's good, he's quick, he's fast, he's pretty smart. When he reads something he attacks it pretty quickly, so it's definitely going to be a classic battle once again."