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June 18, 2014

Cowboys seeing something in Claiborne this spring -- confident, competing player

The Cowboys have seen something different about Morris Claiborne this spring – he is confident and competing.

“Competing his butt off,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said with a smile, a satisfied sigh and a small shake of his head. “He’s embraced that he’s got to play better, and he’s doing a good job.”

One reason is health. Claiborne, highly scrutinized since the Cowboys traded up in the first round to draft him in 2012, arrived injured and has played injured every year. But this spring, he is healthy and working like he knows it.

“He has developed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “I think he’s gotten stronger. He hasn’t necessarily put on more weight; I just think he’s gotten stronger, and he’s more mature physically, and I think his technique is getting better. I think with that, you develop some confidence, and you need confidence in any position you play – but you certainly need it if you play corner in the NFL. You’re out there by yourself a lot.”

Claiborne got beat for a touchdown by Dez Bryant on a slant at the goal line in practice Tuesday. But that’s OK. The Cowboys like seeing Claiborne work against the physically imposing Bryant.

“He’s going against good guys,” Garrett said. “It’s always a healthy competition when he goes against Dez, when he goes against Terrance, and I think that’s really good for him and good for our team. But you definitely see signs of development and growth in him, really every day.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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