Dallas Cowboys

An Inside Look at #1 Pick, Claiborne

Morris Lee Claiborne was born in Shreveport, Louisiana where he played his high school football at Fair Park High playing at quarterback, wide receiver, and of course, cornerback. Becoming a 3 star recruit, staying close to home, he decided to sign with Louisiana State University.

In 2009, as a true freshman, Claiborne was limited as a backup to ( now Tennessee Titans ) Chris Hawkins where he didn’t see the field very much and only posted 7 total tackles for the season.

It wasn’t until 2010 as a Sophomore when Claiborne finally made his presence felt for the Tigers, forming one of the best cornerback tandems in the country, along with ( now Arizona Cardinals ) 2011’s 5th overall NFL draft pick, Patrick Peterson. With Peterson being ignored by most quarterbacks, Claiborne showed his opponents why he deserved to be on the field, making them pay for throwing to his side, and picking on him as he finished the season with a team leading 5 interceptions, and 37 total tackles.

Claiborne started all 12 games that season, and was named to the second- team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection. Not bad for a player who had never started a collegiate game before.

As the 2011 season came around, Claiborne formed yet another perfect cornerback tandem, this time with current Tigers CB, Tyrann ” Honey Badger ” Mathieu, as LSU finished the regular season 12-0, beating Georgia 42-10 in the SEC Championship game, but losing out to #2 Alabama in the National Championship Title game, 21-0.

Claiborne was switching from Left to Right cornerback, where he was normally placed against the opponent’s top wide receiver in every game. Claiborne would go on to finish the season with a whopping 6 interceptions, along with a touchdown return, and 51 tackles in all 14 starts.

He also showed the world he had some return skills as a junior returning the ball on 22 kickoffs for 552 yards ( 25.1 avg. ) along with a touchdown.

Following his 2011 junior season, Claiborne won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the year’s best defensive back, earned first-team All-SEC honors, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

Now you can see why Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and Rob Ryan were jumping up and down in the war room on the first day of the draft, the Buccaneers traded out of the 5th pick to the 7th pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars selected Oklahoma State University wide-receiver Justin Blackmon with their newly acquired 5th overall pick. The Cowboys then traded with the St. Louis Rams ( who had expressed their desire to trade out of the 6th pick in order to collect more draft picks) for the 6th pick, and selected Claiborne ahead of the Buccaneers. The St. Louis Rams received the Cowboys’ 2012 first and second round selections (14th and 50th overall ) while the Cowboys received the 2012 first round selection (6th overall ).

So as training camp approaches in the next couple of months, it is really hard to determine whether Claiborne will be playing on the right or left side, but as in years past has shown in his brief career, no matter who is playing on the opposite side of the field, he seems to form an excellent tandem with them, and knowing Brandon Carr, that won’t hurt his feelings at all.

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Tags: Brandon Carr Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Jerry Jones Morris Claiborne Patrick Peterson Rob Ryan

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