It hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since the Dallas Cowboys traded up in the 2012 NFL Draft to get the highest rated cornerback in his class, LSU’s Morris Claiborne. And in that time, the player that Dallas scouts graded as the highest-rated corner since Deion Sanders, has done next to nothing to prove he was worth the sacrifice made by the Cowboys to obtain him.
Dallas traded with the St. Louis Rams in order to make the Claiborne trade work back in 2012. The Cowboys got the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and the Rams got the 14th overall pick and Dallas’ second round pick that year (45th overall). St. Louis drafted defensive tackle Michael Brockers with their newly obtained first round pick. They then traded their second round pick from Dallas to the Chicago Bears, who then drafted Pro Bowl wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. As for Brockers, he is now the cornerstone of an elite defensive line in St. Louis.
In his two seasons as a Cowboy, Claiborne has recorded 81 tackles, 13 pass defends and two interceptions. The ball-hawking, athletic playmaker from Louisiana has been anything but in Dallas. In fact, after a mediocre rookie campaign (blamed mostly on some early injuries), Claiborne’s play declined even more in his sophomore season. So much so that he lost his starting role to veteran corner Orlando Scandrick mid-season, ending the year starting in just seven games in 2013.
Again, injuries have play a big part in Claiborne’s struggles. He missed six games due to a hamstring injury in 2013. And Mo had both shoulder and hand surgery last month to clear up some lingering injuries that plagued him all season. The dislocated shoulder injury definitely played a part in Claiborne’s ineffectiveness last year.
In fact, Claiborne has yet to complete a full offseason training program due to injuries. When he was drafted, Claiborne was recovering from wrist surgery. Already behind due to this injury, Mo then suffered an MCL sprain during training camp putting him even further behind. And for a player who allegedly scored a “four” out of fifty on his Wonderlic I.Q. test, losing training time could be devastating.
Despite playing 15 games in 2012, Claiborne struggled with an ankle injury and suffered a concussion during his rookie campaign. Last year, Claiborne bulked up to prepare for the new Monte Kiffin defense, but ended up suffering another knee injury that had him sitting out most of training camp.
The term “bust” is starting to get associated with Claiborne, which can not sit well with the third year player. Many believe this is a “make or break” season for Mo. Now, rumors are floating around the blog-o-sphere that Dallas may even be considering trading the former first round pick. And what are they allegedly looking for in return? A third-round pick in the upcoming underclassmen-heavy draft. But Dallas isn’t known for giving up on players, quite the opposite in fact. (just look at wideout Miles Austin.) So, I’m not sure how valid this possible trade news actually is.
Here’s the poll question for today: Have you given up on Morris Claiborne? And would you trade him for a third round pick? Leave your vote below and feel free to explain your answer in our comment section.
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