Cowboys: Claiborne wrong to disagree with demotion
In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys traded a second-round draft pick to move up and select LSU CB Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick. ‘Mo’ performed alright in his rookie season, playing in 15 games and earning a respectable +1.0 coverage grade (though a rough run defense effort in a Week 17 game in Washington, where he missed tackles, over-pursued and was blocked easily by the Redskin recievers, brought his overall grade down significantly).
Unfortunately for him, it’s been all downhill from there. In 2013 the former Tiger missed six games with injuries and regressed, receiving a ‘red’ grade in coverage in half the games he did play. This year he missed the preseason due to injury and, although playing 80% of all snaps in the regular season games, he’s also graded ‘red’ twice in coverage and given up three touchdowns.
Dallas has apparently seen enough as he’s reportedly been benched for tenured Cowboy Orlando Scandrick, who ended up serving only two weeks of an initial four-game suspension. Scandrick is primarily a slot defender, but has experience at Claiborne’s spot on the right side – last Sunday he played 10 snaps at RCB and, more importantly, he played 306 snaps there last season. Scandrick, a former 2008 fifth-round pick, has graded positively overall in coverage the last two years.
It’s unknown what Claiborne’s future is in the Cowboys’ defense – he reportedly left the team facility and skipped practice when learning of his demotion. Scandrick’s full-time presence should at least improve this maligned unit.