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March 28, 2014

Garrett talks corners: they're a strength, but Claiborne needs to get better, get healthy

The Cowboys still need Morris Claiborne to develop as a player and get healthy, coach Jason Garrett said.

“We feel like he is a guy who is very talented and still needs to grow and develop,” Garrett said at the owners meetings in Orlando. “He has certainly shown flashes of the player that we drafted with the sixth pick of the draft a couple of years ago.”

Claiborne came to the Cowboy off of wrist surgery from his last year at LSU. He had a concussion as a rookie. Last year, he played with a brace because of a shoulder injury and then missed six games because of a hamstring injury.

Even before that, he had lost his starting job to Orlando Scandrick.

“He had been dealing with injuries,” Garrett said. “He needs to get stronger as a player. He is working very hard to do that. It’s a hard position to transition into in the NFL. These guys in this league can run routes, and they can throw and catch the football. So, have asked him to do a lot, coming in here on Day 1, being a starter for us. But as much as anything else, get healthy, get stronger and keep learning and grow as a player.”

Garrett said the Cowboys still consider their corners – Claiborne, Scandrick and Brandon Carr – part of the strength of their defense but that the best two would continue to be the starters.

“We believe in competition. We are going to play the best guy,” Garrett said. “Last year, we felt like Orlando was playing better than Mo for a lot of the year, so that is why he was playing. We got to get Mo healthy. We got to get him stronger. And keep giving him chances to go out there and play, because we feel like he has a bright future.”

And Carr?

“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Garrett said. “He plays very well. He’s had a couple of games he certainly would have liked to have played better in, but again, we evaluate what we did as a defensive staff in some of those games and how we could have put him in a better situation. He’ll learn and grow from all of those experiences. He’s the right kind of guy. He cares a great deal about getting better.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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