Four-corners defense? Rob Ryan not sure about that

May, 31, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- If you listen to Jerry Jones, you’ll come away convinced that the Cowboys are going to revolutionize the NFL by putting four cornerbacks on the field on a regular basis.

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Maybe somebody should get that memo to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Ryan didn’t rule out putting the four cornerbacks on the field together at times. However, he sounded lukewarm on the idea of playing Mike Jenkins or Orlando Scandrick at safety, which would be necessary to put four corners on the field when the opposing offense doesn’t use four wide receivers.

“I don’t know if we’ll do that,” Ryan said. “If we ever get in a need to play all those guys, then we can do that certainly. They have good skill sets where I’m sure they could match up with a tight end, a smaller tight end or whatever. It’s just if that need ever shows up, then you can definitely play those four guys.”

The Cowboys learned the hard way last season that an NFL team can never have too many corners. Terence Newman, Jenkins and Scandrick all missed games due to injury, which forced the Cowboys to count on guys such as Frank Walker, Alan Ball and Bryan McCann.

They’re confident they won’t get in that kind of predicament this year, which is one reason they have no intention of trading Jenkins after signing Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne.

“Anybody who watched our team last year understood the injury situations that we had, and we were getting down to our third, fourth and fifth corner really quickly,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “So when teams are putting three receivers out there, four receivers out there and sometimes five receivers out there, you have to have an arsenal of guys who can cover. We think that’s an important thing.

“We think we made a lot of moves to help us in that area. The specifics of how we use those guys is yet to be determined.”

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