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Will Morris Claiborne’s Renewed Focus Pay Off?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Will Morris Claiborne's Renewed Focus Pay Off?

Training camp for the Dallas Cowboys is officially over and everyone has left Oxnard, California to return home for the second preseason game tonight against the Miami Dolphins.

Per usual, training camp practices where packed full of positives and negatives, which leaves all of us Cowboys fans a little in the dark as to what the team will look like once the NFL season finally kicks off. Fortunately though, I'm one of those people that looks at the glass half full and tends to focus more on the positives rather than the negatives.

One of the reoccurring storylines that caught my attention coming out of training camp practices was how well Morris Claiborne has been playing. That really got me wondering whether or not he can carry that over into the 2016 season.

I don't know what it is that has seemed to inspire Claiborne, but I absolutely LOVE what I am hearing.

This new attitude or renewed focus seemed to start right before training camp when he took to twitter and asked his fellow teammate, Dez Bryant, to hold him accountable.

Morris Claiborne on Twitter

Training camp time @DezBryant hold me accountable!! All in

I don't know if it's just me or if I'm trying to read too much into it, but this one single tweet seemed to build a stronger bond between Claiborne and Bryant. That bond really seems to have brought out the competitiveness in both players and it was the battle that ensued between the two that had all eyes on them throughout their time in Oxnard.

Morris Claiborne shared with all of us an example of that mutual respect and bond once again via twitter.

https://twitter.com/MoClaiborne/status/762774931750789120

I don't know about you, but I think both Morris Claiborne and Dez Bryant will perform better in 2016 because they mutually decided to hold each other accountable in training camp and challenged one another each and every day throughout these practices.

Claiborne has faced a lot of scrutiny throughout his first four years in the NFL, and rightfully so considering that he was drafted so highly and has struggled to remain healthy. But it looks as if things are finally starting to come full circle and he's ready to live up to his full potential.

Injuries have been a large part of his struggles, but he hasn't suffered any bumps or bruises (knock on wood) so far and that could be a big reason why he's performing so well.

In fact, he's even gotten the better of Dez Bryant several times and that's something that can't be overlooked when you consider the fact that Bryant is one of the more dominant wide receivers in the entire NFL.

If you don't believe me, maybe you'll take Morris Claiborne's word for it.

Morris Claiborne on Twitter

Last day of camp 3weeks of s**t talking and competing with 88 have definitely made me better

I find these series of tweets from Morris Claiborne encouraging. Again, I may be reading too much into it, but I really think he has a renewed focus and attitude that we will see carry over into the 2016 season.

Of course, I wasn't there personally to witness how he was performing. I have to rely on the people that are actually witnessing these practices firsthand. The Staff Writers for the Dallas Cowboys have been there through it all and put together a list of the top 10 standouts in training camp.

I bet you can't guess where Morris Claiborne landed on that list?

"1. Morris Claiborne -This probably comes down to expectations. But don't forget, not many people even expected Claiborne to be a training camp with the Cowboys after last year. Not only did he sign a new deal for the season, but he showed up every day. Three words to best describe Claiborne for this camp would be consistent, healthy and confident. We knew he had the talent all along but adding those other three factors made him a steady force at the cornerback position during camp. His battles with Dez were some of the most entertaining aspects of camp."

To be identified as a top standout in training camp with a team that is as talented as the Dallas Cowboys should at the very least suggest that we might see a different Morris Claiborne in 2016.

I know that I'm starting to buy in, but I will just let Claiborne speak for himself.

https://twitter.com/MoClaiborne/status/766030340657819648

It looks to me that he has Eye Of The (LSU) Tiger. Too corny?

Do you think Morris Claiborne's renewed focus will pay off in 2016?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/za0u3lWgaY

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?

Sean Martin

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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster? 2
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.

This group includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Michael Gallup, KD Cannon, Mekale McCay, and Marchie Murdock.

The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.

One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.

Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.

What Happens if WR Allen Hurns Doesn't Pan Out?

Dallas Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Allen Hurns (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.

This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.

Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.

Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.

Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.

Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster?

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.

It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.

Tell us what you think about "Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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