Claiborne: Defense needs 'minor adjustments'
IRVING, Texas – Which Cowboys defense will show up Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The one that held the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants to 17 points or the one that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score 27?
Cowboys rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne seems to think it’s the one that was on the field in New Jersey on Sept. 5.
“I think we have a great defense,” Claiborne said Monday. “We have some guys on the line who can get after the ball and some guys on the back end who can hold receivers down. We just have to stick with what we’re doing now and continue to buy into this system and fix the little, minor adjustments and we’ll be great.”
Claiborne said the 27-7 loss to the Seahawks provided a learning experience for the Cowboys. It showed that, “if you don’t come out and give 100 percent you can be beat.”
Brandon Carr and Claiborne were brought in during the offseason to improve a secondary that performed poorly the previous two seasons. Through the first two games, Carr and Claiborne have each deflected a pass and have the Cowboys ranked third in pass defense, allowing 160 yards per game. But they are also one of nine teams that haven’t recorded an interception.
Is that frustrating for Claiborne, someone who intercepted 11 passes during his final two seasons at LSU?
“It’s not frustrating at all,” Claiborne said. “The way I see it, we’ve been pretty much doing our job. We’ve been limiting receivers to the catches that they’re normally getting and sometimes the ball doesn’t come over to us to our side, so you can’t do nothing.
“All you can do is keep playing and try to hold that receiver down as long as you can and when the ball is thrown over there you try to make the best of it.”
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota