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September 20, 2012

Morris Claiborne wants to get his hands on the ball via picks, wouldn't mind returning kickoffs

Rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne has given himself a passing grade for his first two games.

He is proud that he has yet to give up a touchdown but he is down on himself for not getting any interceptions.

“I feel like it’s been good,” Claiborne said. “It hasn’t been great. I haven’t given up any touchdowns. I feel like I need to get my hands on some balls. That’s a big part of the game. If you can go take it out of the air that changes the game.”

The ability to make game changing plays is why the Cowboys took Claiborne with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft. He is still mad at himself for knocking the ball down rather than picking it off against the Seahawks.

“I had a great opportunity to do it. I just knocked it down,” Claiborne said. “It was like a nine route, a deep ball. He kind of floated it up a little bit. I was like ‘Damn, I shoulda went up and got that’. ”

Claiborne said wants to get his hands on the ball kickoff returns as well as intercepions.

He was the primary kickoff returner in college at LSU and would like some opportunities to return kicks here if the Cowboys decide to relive Felix Jones of his duties.

“I wouldn’t mind doing it at all,” Claiborne said.  We’ve got a guy back there right now that to my understanding is doing a great job in Felix. If they need somebody else, I’m here.”

How Jones is doing on kickoff returns is up for debate. He is averaging a career-low 21.3 yards per return and a crucial fumble against the Seahawks. While Jones remains the primary kick returner, coach Jason Garrett said he was going to get some other guys ready as well.

Claiborne said he has started to get more work on kickoff returns in practice this week and is trying to get in all the catches he can so he can be ready if called upon.

He said he doesn’t worry about the injury risk of playing on special teams a starter. His focus is trying to get his hands on the ball.

Clarence Hill


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under no circumstances do I want to see him returning kicks. No way. I'm sure he would be an upgrade over Felix Jones (as my grandmother would be too)but we can't take a chance on this guy getting injured on special teams.

If this was strictly JG's decision, we would see somebody other than Felix returning kicks this week...but once again Jerry Jones isn't content just being an owner or even a GM...he needs to show his power by dictating which players will be used and how. What a disgrace.

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