Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Must Work With Morris Claiborne

After trading up eight spots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, many were thrilled with the selection of Morris Claiborne. At that time, Claiborne was viewed as the best defensive prospect in the draft class. At LSU, Claiborne was two-sport athlete. He was the Jim Thorpe winner in 2012 and he was the second fastest runner in the nation in the 100 meters event.

Coming into the league, many viewed Claiborne to be the next Darrelle Revis. In his rookie season, Claiborne was held out of training camp because of hamstring injuries. In his first NFL game against the rival New York Giants, a game in which I attended, Claiborne looked unbelievable against Hakeem Nicks. On six targets, Claiborne only gave up four receptions for 38 yards to Nicks. This was no fluke because Nicks was coming off season in which he caught about 75 passes for just under 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. After a decent first half of his season, Claiborne’s production fell off.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Claiborne struggled to stay healthy in the 2013 season too. He lost his starting job to Orlando Scandrick, and he looked inept to cover in the slot too. At 5’11″, 190 pounds, many thought he would excel in the slot. The combination of Brandon Carr and Claiborne was pretty good in 2012, but both didn’t exceed expectations in 2013. After regressing from his rookie season, his long-term future in Dallas is in danger if he does not pan out.

Rod Marinelli is a great defensive coach, but his expertise is with the defensive line. Jerome Henderson has been and will be the guy for years to come in Dallas. Claiborne is still extremely raw, but the Dallas Cowboys need to find a way to get the most out of him. They invested too much in Claiborne to see him become a bust. If he doesn’t get better, Claiborne will go down as the biggest bust in the Jerry Jones era.

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Tags: Brandon Carr Dallas Cowboys Morris Claiborne Orlando Scandrick

  • Old Frog

    Given all the options we gave up with those two picks for Claiborne he could definitely go down as biggest bust ever. I’m not optimistic. It seems he’s missing something – smarts, toughness, attitude…something is really off with the kid.

    • Ryan Ratty

      Agreed, really. It’s said, but true. I hope he can put on some muscle. Thanks for reading!

    • Earl Robertson

      I will give you an example of what type of player he is: K.C up one point with 2 mins left to play. 3rd and 10. Avery runs a route that would only be good for 7 yards and this guys grabs him right before the ball got there and the Cowboys lose a game they should have won! After the game he says he didn’t do anything wrong and will continue to play the same way! What a bum!!

      • CowboysWin

        2 penalties on that drive, if I’m correct. Making a stupid decision to give up 2 high picks for a CB is one thing. Losing games for the next 3 years because you’ve “invested too much in the kid” is insanity. Draft a CB and see who wins out

  • brian basile

    Get a pass rush and 2 real safeties and our corners will look like the best in the league…

  • Alfredo Martinez

    The Cowboys defense really improve when Morris Claiborne was in the field… He is a ballhawk.. The problem with this kid is he cant stay healty.. Last year was a bad shoulder and hamstring problems…. He cant play in 6 games… HE is not a bust but he is not living at his spectations for the best defensive player in the 2012 draft…

    • Ryan Ratty

      Agree with you, Alfredo. Let’s hope he can stay on the field this year.