Morris Claiborne's redemption; 7 keys to make Morris Claiborne NOT a bust.



Being that we are in the off season a lot of Dallas fans don't have a lot of hope for the 2014 Cowboys. Fans have not seen the splash they see other teams making in around the league. We told you that Dallas doesn't have much money for free agency so any improvements have to be made in the draft. This teams future has well as a lot of previous picks will be judged permanently this year. 

Players like Tyrone Crawford, Doug Free, James Hanna, Bruce Carter and Ronald Leary have this year to show if they can be long term contributors to this team or be considered draft busts. No one is facing the the "b" word more than Morris Claiborne. I've wrote a lot about Claiborne a lot this season.  In Baron vs Claiborne people have said I've been critical of Morris. As a fan I want Morris to succeed. This feat will only be tougher as Claiborne has a lot to prove. If Claiborne does succeed he will need to do these seven things in 2014.

7 keys to make Morris Claiborne NOT a bust. 

The front seven. The main element that could contribute to Claiborne's success has nothing to do with him. The Seven men up front plays more of a key role than Claiborne ever can. The best corners in the game have good pass rushers in front of them to limit their time in coverage. Sherman has Avril, Wagner, Bennett and Irvin. Revis had Ellis, Scott and a great defensive minded head coach in New York. Bowen and Clayborn in Tampa Bay, not the greatest up front and Revis skills declined. 

Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith have Poe, Houston, Thomas and others making them look good. Cincinnati has one of the best front sevens in the AFC which makes Newman and Jones look a lot better than they are. Hopefully with Marnielli in an improved role and another year with Carter, Lee, Selvie and whoever fills up the rest of the line up upfront. Claiborne's transition to being a better corner starts with them. 

3 interceptions. I'm grading this on the Brandon Carr scale. Carr has averaged 3 interceptions per year in his career. Claiborne needs to meet that number as well. Corners are first judged against the production of their counterpart then their peers. Claiborne has never had 3 interceptions in a season. The most he has ever had is 2. Possibly playing a full season can get Claiborne to 3 in a season. This number isn't asking to much of Claiborne as he got 5 and 6 interceptions in his last two seasons at LSU.

2 touchdowns scored on the entire season. This may be a lofty goal considering that Claiborne has never touched pay dirt on this level. If Claiborne wants to silence his critics this is something he needs to accomplish. Corners are judged for what we can see them do on the field and in the stat sheet. Pass break ups are great but scoring will get you remembered.  

1 interception for touchdown. Morris has never made it to the end zone after an interception. He scored after a fumble recovery against Denver but he has to get a pick 6. Also using the Carr scale, Carr had averaged a pick 6 each year as a cowboy. Claiborne need to get one as well. 

Safety play. Just like having a good front seven is crucial to Claiborne's performance having a safety is as well. Will Dallas go safety in first 2 rounds will help Morris? That will be answered in May. What does Richard Sherman,  Brandon Flowers and Joe Hayden have in common? Earl Thomas, Eric Berry and T.J. Ward. 

2 forced fumbles or recoveries. Claiborne was know as a ball hock in college. If he becomes what the Cowboys thought they drafted. Claiborne has to get the ball at any cost. Claiborne hit this mark last year so it's not to much to ask. 

Stay healthy. It's hard to guess stats for missing games for a player. Claiborne missed 6 games last year and only started 7 games. It's as if Claiborne missed 9 regular season games. If Claiborne can get one more interception, pass deflection, and forced fumble it could go a long way. 

I will not project Claiborne tackles numbers because I don't want my corners to have a rack of tackles in the stat sheet.

I think Claiborne can meet if not surpass all of these numbers. Frankly I'm sick of writing about Claiborne. I'm tired of keeping up hope on what Claiborne can be. If Claiborne can't produce this season it will be time to admit that Claiborne was not only a bad pick but his numbers and hype was helped by playing on the other side of Patrick Peterson. I hope this isn't the case but in 2014 unless Claiborne can stay on the field and produce it may be the conclusion that Claiborne leads us to. 

Morris Claiborne's redemption; 7 keys to make Morris Claiborne NOT a bust. Morris Claiborne's redemption; 7 keys to make Morris Claiborne NOT a bust. Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 10:04:00 PM Rating: 5

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