Mike Jenkins references a 'personal vendetta'

IRVING, Texas -- Mike Jenkins was one of the Dallas Cowboys' two first-round picks in 2008. He was the last Cowboys cornerback to make a Pro Bowl, earning trip in 2009.

Jenkins returns to AT&T Stadium Thursday as a member of the Oakland Raiders.

He started off a conference call on Tuesday by saying the game was a business trip but then alluded to some hard feelings.

"Once I left Dallas, everything moved on with me," Jenkins said. "It was a pleasure being out there with those guys. I had a great five years. I had a great run, no love lost. I treat them like every other team. I prepare for them, going into this game, just like it will be any other regular week."

But as the question kept coming at Jenkins the more fired up he got.

"My swagger and my confidence never left," Jenkins said. "My last few years in Dallas had nothing to do with swagger. It was more of a personal vendetta that was going on around there and I don't care too much to talk about it."

Was it the team signing Brandon Carr to a free-agent deal in 2012 worth $50 million when the team had cursory talks with his agent? Was it the team trading up to select Morris Claiborne in the first round? Did it have something to do with playing through a shoulder injury in 2011 or his recovery from it that he chose to do mostly away from Valley Ranch? The coaches?

"It had nothing to do with what was going on on the field or with swagger or anything like that," Jenkins said. "Like I said, I'm past that. I'm a year out of that franchise. Me talking about them, bringing up old stuff, I don't see the point of bringing up old fire. There's nothing like that for me to even be talking about. If you want to talk about anything, you talk about the team I'm on right now. I'm not a Dallas Cowboy, so it's kind of pointless for me to talk about those guys."

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said a "new scenery" is sometimes what a player needs.

"Rather than pay Mike we went with Brandon and felt like that was the best direction for us to go," Jones said. "Obviously quite a bit of turnover there. We liked what Orlando (Scandrick) was doing in the nickel and obviously we thought we were getting a heckuva chance to get a good player in Mo Claiborne. So it was just one of those things we made some decisions to move away from Terence (Newman) and Mike and hopefully when we get all three out there at the same time and firing on all cylinders it will pay off for us."