Cowboys Claiborne Talks: Beyond The Rumors
Depending on who is doing the asking and who is doing the answering, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mo Claiborne is "soft'' ... or "snake-bitten'' ... or "just not that good'' ... or, maybe, a former first-round pick trying to make a break for himself in the final year of his rookie contract.
"I can't wait" to get back on the field, Claiborne said Friday at the 27th Annual Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon. "It's one of those things. It's a day-by-day thing. I'm getting better each and every day, getting stronger each and every day. You know, that's all I can ask for at this moment."
Cowboys fans would like to ask a little more. This is the third offseason of Claiborne's four years in Dallas in which he will start offseason workouts injured and unable to participate. Even when talking about practice reps, the sixth-overall pick in 2012 -- who Dallas traded up for, thinking he would be Deion reincarnated -- is restless with anticipation.
The four-year pro out of LSU has recently begun running again, a feat the 2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Year calls being "in a better place."
"I was at a point where people thought I wasn't going to walk again," Claiborne said of the lef injury that ended his 2014 season prematurely. "I'm in a better place now in my life and in coping with my injuries and coming back from them."
According to Claiborne, he still hasn't been cleared to practice, and he likely won't earn such clearance until training camp. That's yet another reason the "Claiborne-for-Peterson'' rumor is nonsense; whatever the Vikings might want in trade, it isn't a so-far-failed kid who is unhealthy physically and unproven in so many other areas. See our complete take on what's going on with the Cowboys and AD here. ... and note that Fish has been talking to Orlando Scandrick on a daily basis this week as he sits out voluntary workouts, Fish calling this "another log on the fire'' of what Dallas will do in trade, in the draft, and with its group of corners.
More baloney: The newspaper stories that quote Jerry Jones as suggesting Dallas will pick up Mo's fifth-year option for 2016, an action that must be taken by May 3 and would pay him $11 million for that season. Oh, Jerry actually did say this; it's just that no newspaper should've ever wasted a tree publishing it.
No, Mo's focus is on the now. After a divisional playoff exit highlighted by a pass rush unable to affect Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Claiborne likes the Cowboys bolstering the pass rush by adding defensive end Greg Hardy.
"We all compensate for each other," said Claiborne. "The front line compensates for the back line. The back line compensates for those guys. And having that pass rush is going to be important and it's going to be big for us. I believe we'll have the pass rush. We just have to do our job on the back end, point-blank."
It's clear Claiborne plans to be part of the Dallas defense in 2015 ... but that he's still not physically ready. That'll come in time for camp ... and then, point-blank, comes the question of psychological readiness. And that's where the Twitterverse will have legit questions about Mo's future with the Cowboys.
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