Draft fallout: Does Morris Claiborne solve Cowboys secondary?

  • By Gregg Rosenthal NFL.com
  • Around The League editor
  • Published: May 8, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.

253 draft picks transformed the NFL in a matter of days. Around the League will examine the aftershocks by asking one post-draft burning question for all 32 teams.
Will Morris Claiborne solve Dallas' secondary woes?
This question could be asked a few different ways. Is Morris Claiborne ready to be a shutdown cornerback on day one? Was Claiborne worth Dallas' big move up in the draft?
One thing we know: Claiborne will get tested.
“I don’t care if you’re the first guy picked at corner or if you’re the last guy,” secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. "You're still a rookie."
By signing Brandon Carr to a big-money deal and moving up to draft Claiborne, the Cowboys are trying to fix their secondary woes in one offseason. They also picked up free safety Brodney Pool. Mike Jenkins was reportedly on the trade block, but it doesn't look like he'll move. Dallas has a very deep cornerback crew with Orlando Scandrick as a slot corner and Jenkins in the No. 4 role. Of course, that's assuming Claiborne can be a "No. 1" cornerback.
“With rookies, you just never know,” Henderson said. “You’ve seen some that they come in and it’s like they’ve been here forever. You’ve seen guys come in you wouldn’t were can’t miss and they come in and they miss. ... There’s always an X-factor with rookies."
The Cowboys didn't draft Claiborne to be solid. Carr is solid. They drafted him because he has rare ball skills and has the potential to be better than $50 million man Carr right away. They need Claiborne to be a difference maker.

The Cowboys haven't finished in the top-20 in passing yards-per-attempt allowed the last two years despite spending a ton of resources in the secondary. Jerry Jones spent big resources at cornerback once again. While the rest of the Cowboys draft added needed depth, this draft is all about Claiborne in 2012.
We love Claiborne's profile. He looks like a can't miss kid. But Henderson put it well: "With rookies, you just never know."