Is Morris Claiborne the X-Factor Dallas Has Been Missing?
Ah, the memory of Deion…going up and down that field, left and right, backwards and
forwards – confusing everyone so much that even his own team couldn’t figure out which
direction they had to head in to score the actual touchdown.
Some people hated him – his slightly overdriven ego, his big smile and almost ‘Queen Elizabeth’
wave that made him seem a bit holier than thou. While others truly loved the man. It was like
watching Michael Jackson on the field, moon walking and jumping over everyone else in order
to score those six points with style and grace. He captivated an audience as much as Matthew
Morrison does on the Broadway stage. And now, there just may be a brand new Deion on the
Morris Claiborne is his name, and he is quite literally walking into the Dallas Cowboys’ locker
room with a huge sign hanging around his neck. He is supposed to be the next Deion – a new
man with the ‘Primetime’ moves who will have Dallas fans once again cheering for a Super
Bowl winning team.
Morris Claiborne became the top choice for Dallas who seriously need to solve their beyond bad
secondary. But there are many others out there, as always, who are just waiting to see this new
draft pick go up in smoke. I mean, let’s be honest, there are already those who are focused on
Tebow and his ‘angelic’ persona, and there are those with mouths watering wondering if Peyton
will fail and Elway will become an outcast from the City that has loved him more than his own
mother for decades. So Morris Claiborne is simply another in a long line that should get more
than a few hits. Is he ready to be the superstar cornerback on day one? Was he actually worth it
for Dallas to trade up in order to get him? It remains to be seen, but there are certainly those –
even his own coach – who will make sure he knows that he is…a rookie who will have to pay his
Everyone saw that by signing Brandon Carr (to a huge contract), and making that move up to
draft Claiborne, that that Cowboys seem to think that their secondary can be Super Bowl ready!
Of course, this is Jerry Jones, and as far as he’s concerned his team should win that Lombardi
trophy every year based simply on the fact that he rules and everyone else on the planet blows.
Whether he sees his dream come true or not, remains a mystery. But Dallas certainly has a very
deep cornerback crew with Scandrick and Jenkins. Now, neither are in the top spot, they are
simply waiting to see if Claiborne can come out of the gate like the champion that so many
perceive him to be and grab that “Number 1” for himself.
Coach Henderson, stated: “With rookies, you just never know. You’ve seen some that they come
in and it’s like they’ve been here forever. You’ve seen guys come in who you knew were ‘can’t
miss,’ and they come in and they miss. …There’s always an X-factor with rookies.”
Oddly enough, most people are quoting the fact that the only reason Claiborne was drafted in
the first place was not because he was a truly solid and consistent player. What he does have is a
package of raw talent and unbelievable skill set that makes him look – at times – like a magician
with that ball. And if he uses that magic, he may just show himself to be far better than Carr who
took home a $50 million deal. Claiborne needs to be the X-Factor – the one you don’t expect.
Dallas needs him to simply ‘appear’ before the crowd and turn on some fancy footwork and even
fancier ball control to set the Dallas stage on fire once more.
We are talking high expectations, people. And now those die-hard Cowboys’ fans have jumped
on board. Believe me, when those guys and gals jump on board you need to be good – quick – or
your career can go from promising to uplifting to the sinking of the Titanic in two licks.
Jerry Jones, as always, had his cheat puffed up with pride when all the pics were taken. He
immediately began speaking about Claiborne and how he is the absolute best cornerback since
old ‘Primetime,’ himself. Oh, yes…Jerry was definitely the one who got the buzz going and now
Claiborne has to take a deep breath and deliver. Deion – for anyone who has been living in a
closet for the past few decades – was the Hall of Famer who, frankly, won Dallas their last Super
Bowl championship sixteen years ago. Yes, there were others on the field – but ‘Primetime’
made his mark in the record books for that one.
Claiborne seemed quite calm when standing in the spotlight and accepting the not-yet-earned
fanfare. When old Mr. Jones said he was on the same path as ‘Primetime,’ his response was
simply: “That’s awesome. Anytime you can hear your name in the same sentence as Deion,
you’ve got to be doing something right. Deion is a great player and he left a mark here with the
Dallas Cowboys and he’s moved on. I’m one of the players coming up now and I’m going to try
to leave my mark.”
Claiborne is beyond motivated and certainly seems to have the support of the entire team,
considering when he checked in at Valley Ranch he was given jersey number 24 – worn by the
amazing Larry Brown.
Cornerback is a premium position in the NFL and it certainly calls for the elite athlete. And
for anyone who did see the pics, yes, Claiborne is sporting a cast on his left wrist from surgery
he had to repair some ligament damage. And, yes, that means Claiborne will not be able to
participate in the rookie mini-camp. But never fear – he is supposedly going to be back in
fighting shape when training camp arrives.
Claiborne certainly has a championship background. Leading LSU with six interceptions just
last season, he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. 11 picks in 26
games, LSU’s top kickoff returner, earned first-team All-SEC honors, and was recognized as a
unanimous first-team All-American – so Claiborne has shown he knows what he’s doing.
But…can he bring that fire and talent into the den of one of the most in-your-face sports
franchises in the world? We shall see. But, from this writer’s short time spent scoping out this
talented athlete I have just one thing to say…