It’s likely that, at some point this season, you’ve found yourself wishing the Dallas Cowboys hadn’t let Morris Claiborne defect to the New York Jets this past offseason.
It’s totally understandable, I get it. I’m with you, fam. The Cowboys secondary has struggled at times, whereas Mo Claiborne has seemingly been balling out for the J-E-T-S.
As Cowboys fans, we know this Mo well. In the five years that he wore a star on his helmet, talent was never the question when it came to Claiborne. It was always about his health.
This is partly why the Cowboys brought Mo back in 2016, after not picking up his fifth-year option the year before, on a one-year deal. It was as much of a prove-it deal as far prove-it deals go.
Through seven games, eight weeks counting the bye, Claiborne flourished. He was great. He showed promise. He was finally the player the Cowboys traded up for way back in 2012. It was then that the, unfortunately, predictable happened. Morris was hurt in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Claiborne would return to the Cowboys for their playoff game against the Packers, making it the second straight time that the Cowboys won 13 games only to have a talented player return for the final stretch (Terry Glenn in 2007). He would leave said game with injury.
Fast forward to 2017 for Claiborne. He’s been flourishing for the Jets secondary, while the Cowboys have had ups-and-downs. It’s fair to wonder whether they should have kept him.
Unfortunately, Morris Claiborne suffered a foot injury during New York’s Week 8 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. For the second straight year, he was hurt in Week 8 and missed Week 9’s game as a result.
It’s totally possible that Mo heals up and gets back on track beginning in Week 10. After all, he missed a Thursday Night Football game so he has added time to get right. The fact of the matter though is that his injury situation is indisputably a trend.
While it’s only the second year in a row that this particular Week 8 and 9 situation happened, this is Claiborne’s sixth overall season, and it will continue a streak that has seen him hurt at least once in all of them.
The #Jets are signing former #Cowboys CB Mo Claiborne to a 1-year deal worth $5M, source said. More than Dallas offered. Prove-it deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2017
The Jets offered Morris Claiborne more money than the Cowboys did. Why? Why weren’t the Cowboys willing to beat a one-year deal worth $5M?
The answer, just like the doubts all along, was never about Claiborne’s talent. It was always about his durability. As noted, Claiborne could come back next week and continue the great season he’s having.
But for now, he was hurt in Week 8 and will miss Week 9 for the second year in a row. It’s more than understandable why the Cowboys were willing to let him prove himself elsewhere.