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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Cowboys trade up for Morris Claiborne

By Dan Graziano

Morris Claiborne
The Cowboys traded their first-round pick and their second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams to move up eight spots and select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the No. 6 pick in the draft.
NEW YORK -- My feelings are a little hurt. Either Jerry Jones doesn't read my blog or he just doesn't think I know what I'm talking about. I know for a fact I wrote, right here a few hours ago, that the Dallas Cowboys needed to stay boring tonight, keep all their picks and draft as many good players as possible because of all their depth issues on defense. But they didn't listen. The Cowboys traded their first-round pick and their second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams to move up eight spots and select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the No. 6 pick in the draft.

In terms of the pick itself, I like it for Dallas. Yes, the Cowboys spent big on free-agent cornerback Brandon Carr, and they already have Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick at the position. But they were stone-cold horrible in the secondary last season. Jenkins is chronically hurt, and his contract is up at the end of the 2012 season. Claiborne is viewed as one of the elite players in this draft, and he will be an asset immediately and down the road.

My issue is with the price. Dallas was not in a position to spend its first two picks on one player, no matter how good that player is. The Cowboys cannot address the pass rush, the offensive line or the No. 3 wide receiver spot until the third round at the earliest. The Cowboys made themselves better at cornerback, which is fine, but they failed to improve in a couple of other areas in which they need help. They could have stayed at 14 and selected a very good player who would have helped them this year, and obtained another such player in the second round. Now, they have fewer high picks with which to address needs. I wouldn't have done it.