OXNARD, Calif. – Morris Claiborne didn’t look like the shutdown cornerback the Cowboys thought they drafted during training camp.
That’s partially because Claiborne is playing catch-up after missing the entire offseason while recovering from wrist surgery and being sidelined a week during camp due to a sprained MCL in his left knee.
There have been flashes of the first-round pick’s talent, but Claiborne acknowledges that he hasn’t performed consistently and is still in the process of getting comfortable with the Cowboys as he prepares to make his preseason debut Saturday night in San Diego.
“I catch myself thinking a lot,” Claiborne said. “I try not to think at all. I try just to go play. The coaching staff and Rob (Ryan), they’re doing a great job of eliminating some of the stuff, so I can not have to think and just go out and play.”
Dez Bryant dominated Claiborne when they matched up during camp. Claiborne also had trouble at times covering the receivers who are fighting for roles and roster spots.
On several occasions, Claiborne was a step away from being in position to make the play. Secondary coach Jerome Henderson often corrects Claiborne’s technique immediately after a play.
“I know it’s a learning curve,” Claiborne said. “Certain mistakes that I make, some of the coaches expect me to make them, but I don’t expect me to make them. I just try to learn from them and fix it.”