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August 26, 2013

Claiborne says he has to be in condition because Cowboys' scheme built on effort and getting to the ball

Morris Claiborne said his No. 1 concern is to be in shape for the season opener because the Cowboys’ new defense requires a lot of running.

“I know the way our defense is built, it’s built on effort and getting to the ball,” he said. “Will I be ready to run to the ball each and every snap and not have to be patting to come out of the game? We’ve been working on that a lot. I feel like I’m improving each and every day.”

Claiborne returned to practice Monday after missing three weeks with a “jammed” knee he suffered in training camp. It has kept him out of the first four preseason games. He said he’s fine either way about playing on Thursday against the Texans in the preseason finale.

“I don’t feel like the decision is up to me,” he said. “I’ve been doing what the training staff is having me do. I’m not trying to have any setbacks or anything like that, so I’ve just been following directions and doing what they’re having me do. I don’t want to get in and tweak something and now we sit here talking about am I going to be ready for Week 1 all over again.”

Claiborne said it’s possible he could be rusty, but he doubts it.

“I don’t know how the coaches feel about it. I felt pretty good out there today,” he said. “As these couple weeks go by, we’ll see. Hopefully I can shake some of it off.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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