IRVING – Morris Claiborne’s toughest critic might be himself.
The Cowboys rookie cornerback has started since Week 1, played through injuries and recorded his first interception last week, also a first by any Cowboys defensive back this season.
But he expects more from himself.
“I feel like I would be more ahead as of now,” Claiborne said Thursday. “But I can’t dwell on that. I missed a lot of time. I didn’t have a lot of time to actually get ready to prepare myself.”
Claiborne, who missed all of rookie mini-camp, organized team activities and mini-camp because of a surgically repaired left wrist, was unable to participate during several days of training camp after spraining the MCL in his left knee.
So what does he want his rookie year to be like?
“I want it to be way, way better than this,” Claiborne responded.
In terms of improvement, the sixth overall pick out of LSU wouldn’t go into specifics. Instead, he said there was room to improve at every aspect of his game.
Perhaps only having one interception has discouraged him. After all, he had 11 interceptions his last two seasons in college.
But Claiborne said that isn’t the case.
“I’m really hard on myself,” he said. “I still feel like I played a bad game last weekend and I had an interception. I know if I had four (interceptions) right now, I’d still feel like, ‘Man, I should’ve had more.'”
Despite not meeting his own lofty expectations, Claiborne said he feels “much more experienced” then in the season opener on Sept. 5. In that 24-17 Cowboys victory, he recorded four tackles and played a significant role in holding Giants quarterback Eli Manning to 213 yards passing. Only San Francisco has held Manning to a lower total over the last two seasons.
“You always feel like there’s some more you could’ve done,” Claiborne said. “With my all-around game, I feel like I can be further along, but that’s going to come with patience.”