Cowboys CB Scandrick has ‘a whole lot to prove’ in return

IRVING, Texas — Orlando Scandrick was back at practice Wednesday.

After missing two games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the Dallas Cowboys cornerback was happy to be working with his teammates.

"If felt great," Scandrick said after practice. "It’s good to be out here. It’s good to get my feet underneath me. I feel like I picked up right where I left off. I feel good. I’m excited. I’m relieved. I’m thankful."

A revision to the NFL’s drug policy was finalized Wednesday, reducing Scandrick’s suspension from four games to two. Scandrick tested positive for amphetamines after taking a recreational drug in April.

Under the new policy, Scandrick’s positive test is classified as substance abuse and not performance-enhancing because it occurred in the offseason.

"There is no next time around from me," Scandrick said. "That’s behind me. I’ll leave you with: It will never happen again. I’m ready. I’m focused. I’m more focused than ever. I’ve changed the way I do things."

Since Scandrick was not allowed to be at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility during his suspension, he stayed in football shape by working out on his own.

During training camp, Scandrick was one of the Cowboys’ top performers, routinely battling with Dez Bryant during individual drills and demonstrating considerable improvement in his ability to intercept passes.

Scandrick, 27, set career-highs last year with two interceptions and 12 pass deflections.

"I’ve got a whole lot to prove," Scandrick said. "I missed two games and I want to pick up where I left off. All of my goals, my season goals are right ahead of me. That was the biggest thing. Not having that on my record, not having a failed test for a performance enhancing drug, I mean that’s big.

"All of that not being on my record and everyone knowing I’m not a cheater, because I’m not, and I was adamant from the time I got caught for this. I am not a cheater."

PEY-OFF HISTORY

Scandrick, who started a career-high 15 games last season, said he’s ready to play Sunday but is unsure if he’ll be back in the starting lineup.

"Those are questions that you need to ask Coach Garrett," he said. "I don’t control who plays, but I would like to hope as the head coach of this football team that we would play the best players."