The Dallas Cold Shoulder

The highlight of the 2012 NFL draft was Morris Claiborne. A few years ago Patrick Patterson and Mo Claiborne made up one of the best corner back tandems in college history. We all knew who the first two picks would be, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III respectively. After that Minnesota, Cleveland and Tampa Bay would make their decisions and pick. All of these teams have secondaries that could use an athletic corner like Claiborne. It was a forgone conclusion that Claiborne would be gone within the first five picks in the draft. Only he wasn’t.

At pick number six the Cowboys traded up with St. Louis, giving up their 14th and 45th (second round) picks for the 6th overall. Jerry Jones wanted Claiborne. But that’s not weird, right? The Cowboys basically missed the playoffs because the couldn’t stop the Giants passing game. Terrance Newman is still having nightmares of Victor Cruz salsa dancing.

But it is odd and here’s why. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys were desperately in love with Morris Claiborne. It’s said the Cowboys hadn’t placed a grade this high on cornerback since Deion Sanders. They were so smitten with the prospect that they went for the playground crush technique and ignored him. They didn’t interview him. They didn’t bring him to their facility. They didn’t talk to him at his the LSU pro day. They didn’t even think of him. Jerry Jones has one hell of a Texas Hold ‘em poker face.

What solidified this as the moment of the draft was Morris’ reaction. The shock of playing for Big D was too much. He fought back tears having an emotional moment with his mother and choked up during his interview with Deion Sanders — disappointingly, it seems this interview is a video that never made it’s way to the internet.

“It still feels like it isn’t real, but I know it’s real. I’m just so excited to get in, to get to work, to get around my teammates.”

— Morris Claiborne

I’m a sucker for a good draft story.


Cowboys are counting on CB Morris Claiborne to improve:

The Dallas Cowboys are counting on cornerback Morris Claiborne getting stronger and accelerating his development in his third season.

“We feel like he is a guy who is very talented and still needs to grow and develop,” coach Jason Garrett told the Dallas Morning News. “He has certainly shown flashes of the player that we drafted with the sixth pick of the draft a couple of years ago. He has a very good feel for covering guys and just plays that position at a high level. We have a lot of confidence in Mo.”

Claiborne has missed seven games due to injuries and lost his starting job to Orlando Scandrick last season. “He needs to get stronger as a player,” Garrett told the paper. “He is working very hard to do that. It’s a hard position to transition into in the NFL.

"We have asked him to do a lot, coming in here on day one, being a starter for us. But as much as anything else, get healthy, get stronger and keep learning and grow as a player. We have a lot of confidence in him.” (Photo: Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)