The Cowboys have been waiting a long time to see what they got when they traded up to the sixth pick to select cornerback Morris Claiborne in April, so it’s not surprising they had no patience when they finally got Claiborne on the field.
Claiborne missed all of this spring’s OTAs and minicamps while he rehabbed after wrist surgery. He’s gotten a green light to get back to work and the Cowboys didn’t waste any time putting that green light to the test during a practice for rookies on Wednesday. On the first play of team drills, the Cowboys called a deep pass play on Claiborne’s side of the field. The ball fell incomplete, but the message was received.
“I know I’ve got to get out there,” Claiborne said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They’re not going to wait on me, just like I came out here today and they didn’t try to ease me in. They threw me right in there and had me go get out there, and I was looking forward to that. I knew they were coming. During game times, I know they’re coming. We did a good job of playing it. I got a little behind on it, but the corner from the other side came over and gave me some good help.”
Even if the pass had resulted in a touchdown, having Claiborne on the field was a win for the Cowboys. With the wrist injury out of the way and Claiborne’s contract signed, there are no more obstacles in the way of installing him as a starting cornerback. Given how vital Claiborne is to the Dallas defense’s hopes of improving this year, this probably won’t be the last time he’s tested in practices designed to get him up to speed as soon as possible.