Morris Claiborne welcomes Eli Manning
He was nervous, but a good kind of nervous before facing the New York Giants on the road.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning targeted Claiborne four times and completed all of those passes for 38 yards in the Cowboys' 24-17 victory.
"I was just ready to play," he said. "I was ready to get the game going, just get all the butterflies out and I hate waiting and I just wanted to get it on."
Claiborne grabbed his first interception of the season in last week's 19-14 win over Carolina, picking off a Cam Newton pass in the end zone, and he was targeted a season-high eight times. In the past three weeks, Claiborne has been targeted 16 times and has allowed three touchdowns.
Overall, quarterbacks have directed passes 25 his way this season, three fewer than veteran corner Brandon Carr (28).
"I think they’re coming, what quarterback wouldn't go at a rookie?" Claiborne said. "If I was a quarterback, I would go at me and I just have to continue to play the way I've been playing and continue to step up and continue to get better each and every week."
Claiborne is playing well for a turnover-challenged team. He's tied for the team lead with three pass breakups and is dealing with some health issues. Claiborne sprained a knee in training camp and returned in time for the season opener. But he tweaked the knee late in the first half of the Cowboys' 31-29 loss at Baltimore on Oct. 14.
Claiborne is also playing with a brace over his surgically repaired left wrist, but that doesn't give him too much trouble.
"I'm used to play like that," Claiborne said, regarding getting nicked up. "I played the whole season [at LSU] with torn ligaments [in my wrist] and a high ankle sprain, but [I've] been playing through injures since I was in high school."
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Play Podcast Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss this week's minicamp and Dez Bryant. Claiborne will join the show to discuss the latest Cowboys news all season.
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Play Podcast Glenn "Stretch" Smith and Matt Mosley talk about their time at Day 2 of Cowboys minicamp and discuss Monte Kiffin's defensive principles and his growing relationship with the players.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.
Play Podcast ESPN senior NFL analyst Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss another busy week for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss how Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and others spend lots of time with their receivers and if it matters that Tony Romo is not participating in OTAs.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he's looking for during the third session of OTAs, a potential Sean Lee contract extension and why people underestimate Miles Austin's value.