Former first-round pick Morris Claiborne has had a rough couple of days, starting with the beating he was handed by the Rams in the Cowboys’ narrow 34-31 victory this weekend. Despite coming up with the interception that all but ended the game, Claiborne struggled early and often against the Rams’ receivers.
He was the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, and the Cowboys moved up to select to former LSU star. After his performance Sunday, the team decided to bench Claiborne in favor of Orlando Scandrick. In response to news of his demotion, Claiborne skipped Tuesday’s walkthrough practice and left the team facility, reports Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com.
Claiborne allowed five catches for 108 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown pass to Brian Quick, who has been disappointing himself since being drafted at the top of the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
He received criticism from owner Jerry Jones on his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “Is he what we had hoped for at this point when we drafted him with the sixth overall pick, giving up the [second-round] pick to go up to the sixth pick to get him? No,” Jones said. “But he’s going to be a good player.”
However, Claiborne reportedly returned to the team facilities Wednesday morning, according to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com (via Twitter). The plan is for him to play against the Saints this Sunday night, writes Ed Werder of ESPN (via Twitter).
Head coach Jason Garret said that even though Claiborne will play, he will be disciplined for leaving the team, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter).