Morris Claiborne expects a “big jump” in 2013

Reuters

The Cowboys traded up to take cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 draft in hopes of giving themselves a strong complement for Brandon Carr in the secondary.

Claiborne dealt with injuries before and during the season, though, and the results weren’t quite as good as anyone hoped for either the rookie or the defense. Claiborne said that he gives himself a C-minus as a grade for his first season, but thinks that things will take a turn for the better in 2013.

“I expect a big jump for myself, and play way different than last year,” Claiborne said, via Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com.

Claiborne’s belief in better days to come has a lot to do with work he’s done to get stronger this offseason. Claiborne hopes that being more muscular leaves him more able to attack receivers coming out of the break and says he feels a “big difference” already.

There are several members of the Cowboys defense returning from injuries that wrecked their 2012 seasons and the team feels they’ll be better on that side of the ball as a result. Significant improvement from Claiborne would work pretty much the same way.