Aug 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the bench during the second half against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What Happened To Morris Claiborne?


It is the 2012 NFL draft. The Cowboys came off of an 8-8 year. They were one game away from the playoffs, but they got stomped by the New York Giants. The Giants picked on the Cowboys weakest position, cornerback. Eli Manning has his way against Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins. He threw for 346 yards, 3 touchdowns, and had a 72.7% completion percentage. The Cowboys badly needed to improve at the cornerback position, so they made a big move. It is the 6th pick in the draft, and the Cowboys have traded up. With the 6th pick in the draft, the Dallas Cowboys select, Morris Claiborne.

Earlier in the offseason we got Brandon Carr, and we transformed our weakest position to a position of strength. Two seasons later, and we are beginning to wonder if Claiborne is a bust. His rookie year was fine. It wasn’t amazing, but it was good for a rookie. It gave us hope that he could become a future all-star in the league. His second year told a different story.

He struggled greatly and had an injury plagued year. It did not look good for him. Claiborne looked lost on the field. He was a contributor to why the Cowboys had a historically horrendous defense. Going into his third season, we’re not sure what to expect from him. He is arguably the biggest question mark on our team.

What happened to the promising blue chip prospect we got? During his time at LSU, Claiborne primarily played man coverage. With Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, and Morris Claiborne, the LSU Tigers had some elite man corners. As a result, Claiborne really didn’t have much experience in zone coverage. The reason the Cowboys brought in Claiborne because Rob Ryan needed a corner that can cover one on one. As we all know, one year later Rob Ryan is out and Monte Kiffin is in.

The reason Claiborne struggled is because of his inexperience in zone coverage. A blue chip prospect should have no problem transitioning into the NFL. They have solid technique and form, but for Claiborne he was a fish out of water. He looked great when he played in Rob Ryan’s man coverage scheme. However in the Tampa 2 scheme, Claiborne is now facing a new learning curve.

2014 is a big year for Claiborne. He needs to bounce back or he could see his way out of Dallas. To be honest, Claiborne is not a good fit in Dallas. He would be better off on a defense like New Orleans, Tennessee, or Arizona, where they primarily use man coverage. In Dallas, Claiborne is wasting his time refinishing his zone technique. I don’t think it’s time to give up on Claiborne because its possible for him to still bounce back. In a perfect world, Claiborne will get over the hump and be the shutdown corner that Dallas dreamed of. As of now, we have to question if he can get to that point.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Morris Claiborne

  • Sergio Surroco

    Okay 1st you said his rookie season was okay, later in the article you said he was great under ROB… Huh i dnt get it.. Marinelli will play man to man ..

  • Bill Smith

    Yeah, the writers are sometimes worse than the players..Both Mo and Carr are not right for Dallas system, and a smart management would know this..If they falter under Marinelli, Dallas is in trouble..Also, having a true Free Safety would go along way in helping the corners..Trouble is we never draft one.

    • NYCowboysFan

      Wilcox will be fine.

  • keepingitrealindallas k

    What happened to Mo Claiborne?

    I always find it odd how Cowboys fans can and media pundits continue to blame Claiborne, Carter, Church, Wilcox, Scandrick, and Heath, yes the Dallas Cowboys Secondary for coverage issues. Let’s see, the Dallas Cowboys have had a defensive scheme change, lacked an adequate pass rush for years due to sustaining major injuries to their front seven even to the point of not being able to field adequate talent to even rush the passer do to injury and have been forced to find bodies from the proverbial scrap heap so to speak, hence, the Cowboys pass rush has been abysmal. That being said, I ask then, in an NFL era where the league is geared towards passing with a non existent abysmal pass rush who could cover behind this front seven if you even knew who the front seven where at any given time?

    You could say Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor and I’ll tell you on this memorial day weekend you are inebriated, translation DRUNK!

    • NYCowboysFan

      No one is “blaming” Claiborne. We are all just wondering when he will start to earn his paycheck.

      • truthbetold

        Probably around the same time that everyone on the cowboys squad starts to. In other words. Never.

    • billy

      i think i can tell you what happened to claiborne and carr. both of them quit the moment they found out they were going to have to tackle someone head up in this defense. i hope i dont have to describe what the difference in a man and a zone is here. neither of our corners are going to have a comeback year. neither of them want to hit someone. they dont even believe they get paid to hit people. i know its unavoidable sometimes no matter what defense you run but its much more likely you have to tackle someone head up in the zone. the team will be better off the sooner these two are gone. in this defense the corners have to be willing to hit.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Though I prefer the 4-3 over the 3-4, Mo and Carr were picked to play the 3-4. Ryan did not deserve to be fired. Kiffin was a big mistake. Marinelli has been excellent with the DL. Hopefully, he plays a lot of man to man this year. Definitely think that this is a make or break year for Mo.