The game of football is a physically demanding sport and this is especially true at the NFL level. NFL players are the best of the best and they train their bodies using the latest up-to-date scientific methods to prepare themselves to take on the abuse they will endure throughout any given season.
In today’s NFL players are bigger, stronger, and faster than they were a decade ago and because of this there has been an importance placed on player safety to help prevent against injuries.
We all know that injuries are a part of the game, but it seems like some players are more prone to getting injured than others.
The Dallas Cowboys have a few of these types of players and unfortunately they both play on the defensive side of the ball.
It’s no secret that linebacker Sean Lee has had his fair share of injuries dating back to his collegiate career, but when healthy he is one of the better linebackers in the entire NFL. Lee is a difference maker on defense when healthy, but really can’t be relied upon to play an entire season.
Much like Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne has also had a difficult time remaining healthy for an entire season and it has really stunted his growth as a player.
Claiborne has yet to finish an entire season healthy and has really been a disappointment since being drafted by the Cowboys sixth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
By now you’ve probably heard numerous times that Claiborne was the Cowboys highest rated cornerback since Deion Sanders, but that now seems like a huge miscalculation on the scouting departments part.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Claiborne’s, but it seems like every time he starts putting things together and gaining some momentum, he gets hurt and has to miss an extended period of time.
It’s getting kinda monotonous to hear people asking when Claiborne will finally put things together and have a breakout season.
At this point in his career I’m still not quite sure if we have seen the best from Claiborne or or if this is just the type of player he actually is. I think this can mostly be contributed to his injury history.
Claiborne had his best season with the Cowboys as a rookie in 2012. He started 15 games and had 43 tackles, eight passes defensed, and one interception. Since then, it’s been pretty disappointing production wise.
In 2013, Claiborne only started in seven games and only had 24 tackles, five passes defensed, and one interception.
The 2014 season was even more disappointing. He only started four games after going down with a serious knee injury early in the season. He accumulated five tackles, two passes defensed, and managed to come down with one interception.
He seemed to somewhat manage a rebound season in 2015 accumulating 30 tackles and seven passes defensed, but failed to record an interception. He also only managed to play in 11 games because once again his season was cut short because of an injury.
Because of Claiborne’s well-documented history of injuries, I wasn’t completely surprised that the Cowboys didn’t pick up his fifth year option. I was however somewhat surprised that they decided to sign him to a one-year contract worth $3 million, but only $500,000 of that is fully guaranteed.
It was actually a pretty smart move on the Cowboys part because not only did it save them a lot of money, but they desperately needed depth at the cornerback position.
Claiborne’s role on defense has yet to be defined with the return of Orlando Scandrick, but the most likely scenario is that Claiborne will play opposite Brandon Carr when the Cowboys defense is in their nickel package and Scandrick would slide down into the slot.
No matter how the chips may fall for Claiborne in the upcoming 2016 season, he has to find some way to put his past injuries behind him if he ever wants to find any kind of success in the NFL. Otherwise, he can never be truly relied upon to be a consistent contributor.
Do you think Morris Claiborne can finally put his injuries behind him and have a breakout season for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below so that we can further discuss this topic.