It’s safe to say that the Cowboys’ selection of cornerback Morris Claiborne in the first round of the 2012 draft hasn’t produced the desired results for the team’s defense.
Claiborne has struggled when he’s been on the field, in part because he’s missed parts of each season with injuries that have hindered his development. Year Three is looking like more of the same as Claiborne has been sidelined for almost a week by a knee injury that will keep him out of the team’s preseason opener against the Chargers on Thursday.
It’s the third straight year that Claiborne has been unable to answer the preseason bell and injuries have limited him to just two exhibition contests overall. Despite that, coach Jason Garrett is optimistic about what he’s seen from the corner so far this summer.
“Well, you want players out there, obviously,” Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. “And Mo has really had a good offseason, like we talked about, and a good start to camp. He has missed the last few days. We do anticipate him being back fairly soon and having the bulk of training camp in front of him to continue to grow and develop. But you don’t want to lose sight of the fact he’s off to a good start and doing a lot of good things.”
This sets up as a crucial season for Claiborne as the Cowboys will have to make a decision about exercising his fifth-year option before the 2015 season and he hasn’t come close to making it clear that he’s a player worth keeping around for the long term. Staying healthy is essential to changing that around, but both the past and present illustrate that there are better ways to get rich than betting on that happening.