Cowboys fired up over 'feisty' slot corner Tyler Patmon

The season-long loss of cornerback Orlando Scandrick has stripped the Dallas Cowboys of their finest cover man for 2015.

It's a grim talent-drain for a secondary that leaned heavily on Scandrick last season in a division housing a flurry of top-flight wideouts in Odell Beckham, DeSean Jackson and Philly's productive cast of pass-catchers.

The Cowboys can't replace Scandrick, but the team is high on new slot corner Tyler Patmon, the undrafted second-year defender who played just 74 snaps for Dallas in 2014.

"He has a lot of the same kind of traits that Orlando has," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, per The Dallas Morning News. "His strengths are the instinctive way he plays, his ability to make plays, just has a good feel for the game.

"He's a great competitor. He's feisty, he fights, he battles and scratches and claws, so we're going to give him an opportunity in there first."

Playing alongside Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and rookie Byron Jones, Patmon is a 5-foot-10, 188-pounder with some history of ball-hawking. He was a one-man show against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 of last year's preseason, intercepting Ryan Tannehill before logging a pick six off Matt Moore:

Patmon did it again in Week 9 when he scored on a 58-yard interception return off Carson Palmer:

He's not afraid of a fight, exchanging blows with Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant in training camp and later, per The Morning News, having to be "restrained by Jerry Jones' personal body guard" in the team's brawl with the St. Louis Rams in last week's joint practice.

"You've got to be scrappy, man. But at the same time you have to be smart. You can't be over aggressive," Patmon said, adding: "Now is the time where my teammates are counting on me and I've got to be ready to step up."

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