- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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He's participated in 25 of 32 available games. Claiborne has started 22 of those games but is mainly the third corner on his team behind Orlando Scandrick. The Cowboys moved up in the draft and selected Claiborne with the sixth overall selection in 2012 and all they have is two interceptions, 14 pass breakups and 17 weeks spent on the injury report spanning two seasons.
Is it time to view Claiborne a little differently?
Maybe the Cowboys should explore trading him?
Is it so easy to give up on Claiborne, whom the Cowboys said graded out with the same skill set as Deion Sanders when he came out of college? Claiborne has been a major disappointment in his two seasons. You expected more from him considering where some of the scouts had him ranked and where he was drafted.
Claiborne shouldn't be the third corner on this team, but it's fair to say Scandrick is just better. And with the Cowboys trying to upgrade a poor defense, a look at the current personnel is needed.
The bold move would result in the Cowboys trading Claiborne for maybe a third-round pick. NFL teams aren't going to give up anything higher than that, considering Claiborne's health issues and a lack of play-making ability in his first two seasons.
A sensible move is to keep him and think he'll perform better in 2014 with a clearer mind and healthier body.
Last season, Claiborne was an emotional mess. While rehabbing from a hamstring injury, Claiborne's father passed away suddenly. And just days after losing his father, he became a father himself to a baby girl.
Dealing with life in the NFL and the realities of the world can be difficult to do sometimes, especially for a player in his early 20s. The Cowboys can give Claiborne a pass for roughly the last month of the 2013 season due to his mental state. Claiborne wanted to play, but his body and personal issues prevented that for a time.
When you look at the other corners drafted in 2012, there's no need to give up on them, though you must also question whether some of these selections are worth it.
Stephon Gilmore was the 10th pick of the draft by Buffalo and in 27 games he has three interceptions and 26 pass breakups. Dre Kirkpatrick, who has spent 17 weeks on the injury report in two seasons, has just one interception for Cincinnati.
Janoris Jenkins, the 39th pick overall by Green Bay in the second round, had five interceptions in 2012 and returned three picks for touchdowns. He's shown some durability playing in 31 games.
It's easy to focus on Claiborne and say he's come up short of expectations and you would be fair in saying that. Trading him could be an option for the Cowboys if they believe someone is willing to give them a third-round pick.
However, giving Claiborne a chance to produce in his third season is the wise move and what needs to happen.