Everyone has known the history of Morris Claiborne ever since the Cowboys moved up in the 2012 NFL draft and selected him with the 6th overall pick. To say that he hasn’t lived up to the hype of a top 10 draft pick doesn’t even need to be discussed.
Since being drafted, Claiborne has spent more time off the field rehabbing injuries than he has spent on the field; he has managed to play in a whopping two preseason games and 29 regular season games, in his three-year NFL career.
Dallas Cowboys team reporter, Nick Eatman, reported that Claiborne hadn’t felt better about his body since college. Claiborne stated:
“Definitely, since I’ve come out of college, this is the best I’ve moved around covering guys.”
After having surgery to repair his torn patellar tendon in his left knee last October, and his right knee scoped in December, Claiborne has worked his tail off in rehab to get back onto the field. It’s going to be a steep uphill climb. But, he’s ready and he’s got something to prove.
He said,“I feel good. I have had no bad complaints from the coaching staff,” adding “When they want me to go play, I’m going to go.”
With the St. Louis Rams in town for a joint practice, Claiborne got limited reps with the 1st team defense on Monday due to the injuries of Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, and Byron Jones.
If this is, in fact, the healthiest that he has been since beginning his NFL career, then the time is now for Claiborne to show that he is capable of being an NFL cornerback. The talent is there and with a little luck, and health, Claiborne will be able to show that he belongs in the NFL.
With this being the last year of Claiborne’s rookie deal, after the Cowboys declined to pick up the 5th year option, it’s critical for him to not only show the Cowboys what he’s capable of on the field, but the other 31 teams in the league as well. His future depends on it.
A Cowboys cornerback position group of Carr, Scandrick, Claiborne, Jones, and Patmon could evolve as a Dallas position of strength. Will Claiborne ever live up to the expectations of being the 6th overall pick? Probably not. But there is no reason why he couldn’t at least compete for a spot on the roster.
Do you think that 2015 will be the year for Morris Claiborne to turn his career around?