OXNARD, Calif. – He was sore and got schooled, but rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne’s head was held high after his first official practice with the Dallas Cowboys.
Claiborne limped off the field during 7-on-7 drills late in practice and did not return, visiting with athletic trainer Jim Maurer and stretching on the sideline. However, Claiborne said he didn’t suffer an injury and wouldn’t miss any more practice time.
“Nothing like that, it was just soreness,” said Claiborne, who couldn’t participate in offseason workouts because he was recovering from wrist surgery. “It’s just body soreness.”
To put it kindly, the practice was a learning experience for Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the draft. Dez Bryant beat Claiborne several times.
“I expected them to come at me and throw a couple of balls,” Claiborne said. “They got a couple of completions, but that’s football. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes that you made and try to go back and fix it the next time.”
After Claiborne blanketed Kevin Ogletree to break up a fade route, DeMarcus Ware jogged over to the rookie corner to encourage him. “There you go!” Ware shouted after what ended up being Claiborne’s final rep.
Claiborne considered the practice a solid first step. He certainly wasn’t interested in making any excuses for the plays that didn’t go his way.
“You can’t blame it on rust,” Claiborne said, responding to a suggestion that he was chipping off rust. “When you’re out there, you’ve just got to go compete. Whether your legs are tired or not, you’ve got to fight through it and you’ve got to go compete.”