When the Cowboys traded up to get Morris Claiborne out of LSU in 2012, the thought was that they were getting a lockdown type of cornerback. Now in his fifth season, and on his second contract (a one-year deal), Mo is closer to the expectation than he's ever been.
We've seen a drastic increase in performance from Mo not just over these first four games, but over the 2015 season as well... despite all its pain and sadness. We're also coming off of a win that Morris helped ice with his late-game interception of Blaine Gabbert. Things are looking good in the Land of Claiborne.
The land an NFL cornerback inhabits is typically referred to an island, as in an island that he isolates the receiver he's covering on rendering said receiver completely useless due to outstanding coverage. The Land of Claiborne is a real thing and its recent visitors Odell Beckham Jr., DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Torrey Smith can all attest to that.
|The Land Of Claiborne, Est. 2016||Targets||Catches||Yards||TDs|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||8||4||73||0|
This is a pretty impressive resume for a corner that was only given a one-year "prove it" contract this past offseason. Proving it, is putting what Mo has done lightly.
Members of Cowboys Nation have observed The Land of Claiborne in action this season and professed that he finally is the shutdown guy we all expected four years ago. Detractors say that the quality of receivers he's faced, as listed above, aren't exactly perennial and aren't an indication of anything other than perhaps coincidence. What we need... is a litmus test.
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AJ Green: The Land Of Claiborne Litmus Test
The Cincinnati Bengals bring to town one of the NFL's most dangerous weapons in AJ Green. While news came out on Wednesday that their star tight end Tyler Eifert likely won't make his season debut this week as expected, that absence hasn't hindered AJ so far this season.
Through four games Green is sitting on a league-leading 32 catches, 468 yards, and 2 touchdowns. His most recent performance, a home victory over the Dolphins last Thursday night, was his second-most impressive as he reeled in 10 catches for 173 yards and a score. Second-most! That's his second best performance (he outperformed this stat line in Week 1 against the Jets).
This is far and away the biggest challenge Morris Claiborne will face to date, and arguably the best individual challenge he'll face all season. Based on what we've seen through the first quarter of the season, Mo is more than up to the task.
AJ Green is more than someone who will cause Mo Claiborne distress this week - AJ Green is The Land of Claiborne Litmus Test. If Mo is able to lock down AJ Green then we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is in fact the Mo Claiborne we believe him to be.
He is that Mo. You know. I know. On Sunday, AJ Green will know. Huzzah.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
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