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Bursting The Bust Label: Morris Claiborne Taking Advantage Of Opportunities

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Top-Five Needs as Free Agency Nears 1

When the Dallas Cowboys traded up to select cornerback Morris Claiborne with the 6th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, they were hoping to aquire the lockdown corner which they had not had in years.

The New York Giants had just thrown all over the Cowboys to end the 2011 season, with the final image being Terence Newman chasing a much younger Victor Cruz down the sideline en route to a heartbreaking loss.

Claiborne was going to be the solution to all of the Cowboys problems. In hindsight, it was unfair to put all of this on Claiborne. He didn't ask for those expectations, he just came to play football. Unfortunately for both him and the Cowboys, he didn't play football very well at all.

So far this season, Mo' has been the best cornerback on this entire roster. And the film proves it.

Tackling

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Last Sunday we saw Morris Claiborne come down field and tackle like we never have before. Here we see him drop back into his zone, read the underneath route, and come up to deliver a blow. Accompanied by JJ Wilcox, Claiborne knocks the Washington receiver back and makes a real nice play.

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Once again we see Mo's improved tackling. This time he is on an island in the open field. If he were to miss the tackle, a touchdown might have been imminent. This was a key moment in the game, and the Cowboys needed to make a stop. Claiborne comes up and makes a technically sound tackle at the line of scrimmage, and gets rightfully fired up.

Pass Coverage

While Claiborne's tackling has certainly improved, it is in his coverage that he has made his biggest impact. We haven't seen Mo play this well consistently in Dallas, but through two games, he looks to have it figured out.

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Kirk Cousins doesn't thrown his way here, but Claiborne's coverage is still picture-perfect. Mo is able to respect Desean Jackson's speed by giving him space, while still keeping him locked up once Jackson tries to get downfield.

The key here was that Claiborne was able to avoid biting when Jackson tried to bait him into it, keeping his distance and staying on his track.

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I think the Redskins are still trying to throw the fade in the red zone right this very second. And they are probably still failing to complete it.

Josh Doctson (man, I wish someone else drafted him) was the target of a bunch of these fade routes Sunday, but on this one it is Claiborne who comes up with the great coverage to force the incompletion. Mo absolutely locks him down here, forcing him so far towards the sideline that even if he had caught it, there was no way he could've gotten two feet in bounds.

The ball falls incomplete, and Morris Claiborne looks like the hero. We haven't seen too much of this during his first three years in Dallas, but his improvement from year 3 to year 4, and now from year 4 to year 5 is clear. And it is helping this otherwise reeling defense immensely.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T

The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.

During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.

After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.

This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.

Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!



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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie

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L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.



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REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford Kicked Off Thursday Flight

According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.

The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.

Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.

This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.

Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.

Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.



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