Morris Claiborne is confident that his second NFL season will be much better than his first. The Dallas Cowboys cornerback started 15 games during his rookie year, breaking up eight passes and intercepting one.
But those numbers weren’t good enough for the former sixth overall pick. When asked in May to put a letter grade on his first season in Dallas, Claiborne said: C-minus.
During his youth football camp in South Dallas on Saturday, Claiborne explained why he’s “anxious” to get back on the field.
“My expectations are very high, not only for myself but for the team as well,” Claiborne said. “I feel like we’ll have a breakout year this year if we continue to work the way we’ve been working and doing the things we’ve been doing.”
Claiborne has gained six pounds during the off-season, focusing on lifting weights and subtracting the sweets from his diet. The result has been added muscle, something he’s done to better prepare for Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 scheme.
Although the Cowboys haven’t had any mandatory team workouts at Valley Ranch since mini-camp ended on June 13, Claiborne has been working on his own to maintain the muscle he’s gained.
That means staying away from the junk food when he’s at home.
“It’s been kind of hard,” Claiborne said. “But I’m dedicated to it and I’m trying to make it work for not only myself but also for the team. I’ll take that little punishment of not having those sweets so I can go out and play at a high level.”
So with the added weight, a year of pro experience under his belt and an off-season where he wasn’t limited by a cast on his left wrist, where has Claiborne improved most on the field?
“I believe my all-around game,” he said. “I feel like I have improved much as a player. I think most of all, my confidence level is very high right now, and I plan on keeping it that way, going into the season with a good mindset.”